May 23, 2003

Strange Laughter

I'm really happy at the moment. Somebody came across this blog while searching on Google for Stephen King. Being the Stephen King fanatic that I am, I can't help but be honored. A shame that all that person found was his name mentioned with a few books or television series.

I saw The Matrix: Reloaded again. This time I only paid $4, but I hate the seats in that theater. I believe that the Cynic was right when he told Katy that it was better the second time around. I noticed a few more things that I liked about the movie and caught a few things I hadn't noticed the first time around. I tried to look more carefully for the computer animated scenes as well. I still think that they used that too much in this movie. I think that I would have sacrificed a large amount of the fight with all of the Smiths to have used less animation, but I wasn't directing the movie.

I saw it this time with a friend from high school. This friend shall remain nameless at this time because I don't want him to be embarassed by the following story. Anyway, I was at his house around the time our old high school gets out for the day. He had asked earlier if it had gotten out yet so when I saw that it had I told him it was out. Shortly after this he asked something that sounded like, "Do you have to pick up Jess--." As soon as he said the first syllable of her name I'm assuming he realized what he had just done because he mumbled, "Oh shit," and turned red. I didn't hear at first what he said but when I saw his reaction it clicked in my mind. For a second I just stared at him, and then for some reason, I just started laughing. I felt horrible for him because I'm sure he felt like a total ass, but I couldn't stop laughing. After a few seconds when my laughing subsided I told him not to worry about it because I had also forgotten what had happened and had a few slip-of-the-tongue moments.

I have been trying to figure out why I started laughing. It didn't feel like nervous laughter, but it wasn't really a "someone-just-told-a-funny-joke" laughter either. I think that it may have been from relief. I'm thinking that part of me still felt guilty after my own experience with forgetting my sister's death, even though both of my parents have done it as well. This was my first encounter with someone else forgetting about it in my presence. I think my mind was very relieved that someone else made the same mistake I had made and showed that relief through laughter. But then again, what do I know? I'm not a psych major.

Posted by Randy at 12:59 AM

May 20, 2003

Random Rants

I haven't posted anything for a while because I have had no experiences/thoughts in the last few days worth commenting over. Today, however, inspiration has struck.

Rant #1: Home videos.

My mother has searched our house and the houses of a few relatives in search of home videos. I recently discovered why the camera wouldn't play on the television (wrong VCR channel) and ever since then she has been watching those tapes every chance she gets. She also told me today that I needed to help her make copies of all the tapes for other family members, etc. Now, I understand completely why somebody would want to watch these things after recent events in my household. However, I prefer the memories that I have in my head to those that I might see on film. If I ever want to her my sister's voice, I can watch the tape. If I wanted to know what she wore on a certain day, I can watch the tape. If I want to watch her play a basketball game, I'll watch the tape. However, I prefer the things I remember about times such as our last vacation over what little the tape can offer.

Rant #2: Kittens

Our family was cursed with three kittens about a week or so after my sister's death. Ever since then, these little bastards have been kept in my family's bathroom. It was fine when they didn't move from the little semi-ball they made. Now, however, you walk into the bathroom and a cat tries to climb up your leg. The bathroom floor stays covered with kitty litter and food. It is getting to the point that I am ready to just toss the kittens outside. Each kitten already has a home it will be going to but the people won't take them yet because "they aren't old enough."

Rant #3: Gadzooks

This isn't my rant but I felt it deserved mentioning anyway. Gadzooks has apparently become an all-female store and is now marketing rather discriminatory and sexist clothing. If a male-clothing store tried the crap they are pulling the NOW would kill the store and take all of its money. For more details, visit the Cynic or a Heretic.

Posted by Randy at 12:34 AM

May 16, 2003

The Matrix: Reloaded

Well, today I saw The Matrix: Reloaded and now I am going to do my own review of the movie. I've read a "thumbs up" review from the Cynic and a "thumbs down" review from one of my favorite web comics. I think that I am somewhere in the middle of these two.

What did I like about the movie? The action scenes were, for the most part, well done. The freeway scene was awesome. The twins were incredible (arguably the "coolest" bad guys I've ever seen in a movie). The plot was interesting. However, I usually don't judge a movie based on what I like about it.

What did I not like about the movie?

To begin with, the rave scene in Zion/love scene between Neo and Trinity felt like it was thirty minutes long. Some of the dialogue was bland and felt almost forced. In a few of the fights, the characters seemed to be just going through the motions. This may have been meant to show how little effort they had to put forth in order to win, but to me it made those fights look very fake. They used slow motion movement and computer animation too much. The scene with Morpheus speaking to Zion made me laugh out loud. The movie plot also seemed to take a huge leap away from the first movie.

Overall, I think I liked the movie, but I can also see why some people wouldn't. This one was so much different from the first one.

Posted by Randy at 07:42 PM

Busy Summer Day

Today (Thursday) was an interesting day. I woke up earlier than I usually do, received a phone call saying that I have another interview to go to on Friday, picked up my late sister's late boyfriend's sister from school and carried her home for her mother, attended my old high school's athletic banquet (my family was given my sister's basketball jersey), and finished it off by watching a full lunar eclipse.

The lunar eclipse was cool. I don't know if Moore watched any of the eclipse, but at one point the moon looked just like a banana. If he didn't watch it I felt that someone should tell him about that.

I also heard something else which great. Katy, a girl from my high school, will be receiving the R.G. LeTourneau scholarship to come to LeTourneau. She is getting a whopping $56,000. Congratulations Katy!

I still haven't seen The Matrix: Reloaded yet, but I am hoping to see it this weekend. I've heard mixed reviews.

Posted by Randy at 12:26 AM

May 13, 2003

The Lottery

I hate the lottery. Today I was waiting to pay for a pizza to be made in the local convenience store/pizza place behind this woman buying Lotto tickets. She bought forty dollars worth of Lotto tickets. Forty dollars! From the looks of this woman's clothes and car, I think that money could have been spent in a better way. Why is it that the majority of money made from the lottery comes from people who are close to if not in the poverty level? The only thing I can think of is that they feel like if they hit the jackpot there they wouldn't have to worry about money ever again. The odds alone should tell these people that it most likely won't happen, especially now that Texas has added more numbers to the drawing in an attempt to make the jackpots higher before they are won.

And speaking of that, what genius thought of that idea? "Hey, I'll tell ya what. Let's make it harder to win. Then, more money can be won. Who cares if the chances to win get knocked even lower? More money! More money!" It seems to me that the money they make when the jackpot skyrockets wouldn't make up for the number of "constant" gamblers who they have lost from making it harder to win. Of course, that doesn't usually stop people when the jackpots do climb. My own parents will even buy a ticket if the jackpot goes over $100 million.

Posted by Randy at 07:15 PM

Generic Life Update

Time for a mood change on this blog. I've been talking too much about my more somber feelings. So, I'm going to try to change subjects.

Job Search: Summer '03 has yet to reach its end. No word back from anything as of yet, and it is starting to aggravate me. I haven't really wanted any of the jobs I've applied for, but that isn't the point. I doubt that I would find a temporary job that I would want here anyway. I'm aggravated because I hate filling out those stupid job applications. They all ask the exact same things. There needs to be a univeral application form for all companies and, if needed, they can add on separate pages as they see fit. It would save everyone a lot of time.

Today ABC showed the movie version of The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, which is the prequel to Rose Red. Quite naturally, they extremely screwed it up. They added things which made the story more sexually oriented, left some things out (some of those things I was very happy they did leave out), and even changed things that were shown happening an entirely different way in Rose Red. Why can't they just produce the story like it was told in the novel? Would it really be that hard? I'm not saying it should be exact because some things have to be edited or changed; however, when the changes approach the degree of crap they did to that story, they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Matrix: Reloaded is coming out very soon. I want to see it opening day, but I know that won't happen. My mom wants to see it as soon as she can. My dad wants to see it when it comes out on DVD. I know that some people view movie prices as ridiculously high, and I definitely agree that there concession prices are outrageous, but I don't really have a problem paying seven dollars for over two hours of entertainment. However, if the quality of entertainment approaches zero, my anger towards the movie and theater approaches infinity. (That math reference was just for you, Anna)

Posted by Randy at 01:26 AM

May 11, 2003

Thoughts a Month After...

Quoted from this blog on April 17, 2003:
"I miss her so much already, and it hasn't even been a week since she has been gone. I can not even imagine what this will feel like next week, next month, or next year."

It has now been almost exactly one month from the time my sister was killed. It is hard for me to imagine, but one month ago at this very moment my sister was living out the last few hours of her life. I still miss her horribly. It also doesn't help my mother much that one month to the day of her daughter's unfortunate death is Mother's Day. The amount of memories I have of my sister are greater than ever, and they seem to grow every single day. I start thinking of something, someone says something, or I see or hear something and another memory is sparked.

Quoted from Pet Semetary by Stephan King:
(Louis Creed's thoughts while tucking in his young daughter Ellie after his toddler son Gage is killed. They just discussed Ellie's reaction to the death.)
"'Keep him alive, Ellie, if that's what you want,' he thought and kissed her. 'The shrinks would probably say it's as unhealthy as hell, but I'm for it. Because I know the day will come--maybe as soon as this Friday--when you forget to carry the picture and I'll see it lying on your bed in this empty room while you ride your bike around the driveway or walk in the field behind the house or go over to Kathy McGown's house to make clothes with her Sew Perfect. Gage won't be with you, and that's when Gage drops off whatever Hot One Hundred there is that exists in litle girls' hearts and starts to become Something That Happened in 1984. A blast from the past.'"

I am terrified that I am slowly letting my sister and her death become Something That Happened in 2003. I suppose that it is natural to stop thinking about her as often as time goes by and I'm fairly certain that that is actually what happens to most mentally healthy people after a loved one's death. As natural as it may be, I hate that there will probably be a day in the future where I don't think of my sister at all, where no memories of her make me smile, where no sorrow-filled part of my soul cries out for her. That scares me.

Why am I seemingly punishing my mind with Pet Semetary this shortly after my sister's death? So far it has had two funerals described in painfully vivid details along with some commentary about what goes on behind the scenes. Well, I bought it and I decided that I had better read it. Getting close to finishing it now.

Posted by Randy at 08:34 PM

May 10, 2003

Silence

Another after-midnight post, but it doesn't matter because my parents are in Austin at the state track meet supporting Keith (Levi' brother) and the rest of the people from my high school that made it there. So I am home by myself.

Irony is extremely cruel. Especially when it comes around the corner and kicks you in the ass. I've spoken about that fact with my parents, but only now do I experience it in full force. They talked about it because of the amount of arguments my sister and I had which almost never left the house quiet. I speak of it because of how many times I wished that everyone in my house would just go away and leave me alone for a night.

Another strange thing, to me anyway, is the number of times I have encountered themes in either movies or books concerning death in these past few weeks. Of course, I do read quite a large amount of Stephen King novels, but the number of times I've encountered it is still shocking to me. From the novel The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red by King to the game Final Fantasy X, I can't seem to escape it. It is likely that I have always seen it with this frequency but am only now actually paying attention to it. It makes me wonder if I was always morbid and actively sought out books, movies, etc., concerning death or if this has all just been a coincidence.

Posted by Randy at 12:28 AM

May 08, 2003

Job Search

It seems that if I am to update this thing frequently and without my parents' notice (I don't think they should be reading this right now for several reasons, none of which I'm going into right now), I will have to post either late at night when both of them are asleep or during the middle of the day when neither of them are here. As my dad is at work and my mother is gone somewhere (Without leaving a note I might add. When she gets home I should say something about that.), I thought I would ramble a bit.

As far as my job search is going, I've turned in a few applications yesterday and I am [sarcasm]anxiously[/sarcasm] waiting a response. Still haven't heard about the job I want yet, so right now the applications I turned in are for "back-up" jobs. My mother is pushing me to get a job almost as much as Mark was. She is just adamant about me having "spending money." Translated to mean: "I am tired of giving you money, so get off your lazy ass and start working for it." While she may or may not mean it quite like that, that is how I'm interpreting it and I partially agree with her. I need my own job.

Insomnia sucks. I have not been able to go to sleep before 4 AM at all these last few nights. It isn't because I wasn't tired or because of my newly acquired sleeping habits, it is because the second I lay down in bed I become wide awake. Once I'm laying down, I start thinking. Once I start thinking, I might as well get back out of bed and go do something else. If only sleeping pills gave you "natural" sleep and weren't addictive...

And I am very glad that I decided to come home instead of staying at LU to get credits or work. A few of the cynic's comments about his experiences thus far should more than explain why.

Posted by Randy at 02:38 PM

May 06, 2003

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me

I found this poem in some papers around the computer desk. I'm assuming that my mom printed it out. How she found it I don't know, but it brought tears to my eyes.

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do.
It seemed almost impossible
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldy things
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true,
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?"

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

Author Unknown

On a completely different note, there was a banner at the bottom of the page for AdamMeetEve.com, a Christian singles website. Does anyone else think that that name is disturbing?

Posted by Randy at 12:19 AM

May 05, 2003

My Exciting Life

Well, I've been alone at the house almost all day now. My mother woke me up at 11 to tell me she was leaving for work, and my dad left sometime around 6 or 7. Too bad once I get my job I probably won't be able to sleep in any more. Stupid real world.

Anyway, I've done practically nothing all day. I went to eat with my grandfather around one o'clock, but after that he needed to go pay some guy for some timber or somthing. We don't really have that much in common, but I try to spend time with him anyway. Do you have any relatives who, no matter how hard you try to listen, they almost always cause you to start daydreaming? I try to listen to him speak, but it is like trying to swim with cement shoes. No matter what I do, I almost always go under. However, he either doesn't notice or doesn't care.

Still don't know about the job I want. Mark, before you say anything, I'm working on getting the job. I should know relatively soon whether or not I'm getting it, so shut up already.

I also went with my mother yesterday to see X-Men 2. She wanted to see it and my dad didn't want to go (he was tired), so I went with her. I noticed a few things which improved my opinion of the movie. I'm not going to say anything because I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it.

Posted by Randy at 05:29 PM

May 04, 2003

Quick Stats

Time: 2:45 AM
Place: Levi's house
My current form of entertainment: Resident Evil: Code Veronica
Levi's siblings' current form of entertainment: How High
Sleep wanted: 8-12 hours
Sleep likely to get: 6-9 hours
Current job opportunities: 2 possibilities, 0 confirmations or denials
Chance of getting job I want: 75%
Current GPA: Unknown
Amount of stuff out of boxes: 85%
Amount of stuff where I want it: 60%
Amount of time needed to organize the closet from Hell: 2+ hours
Amount of time needed to create the closet from Hell: 20 minutes
Amount of prayer I will need for patience with family members: All that I can get

Just some current stats in my life.

Posted by Randy at 02:55 AM

May 03, 2003

Return to Home

Well, I'm not home at the moment, but I did go home and unpack a large amount of stuff. I am currently at a friend's house because my parents, my friend's parents, and Justin's (my sister's boyfriend who was killed at the same time as she was) parents are all celebrating an anniversary. I believe that it was Justin's parents' anniversary, but I'm not sure and it doesn't matter enough for me to try to find out.

I already miss LU's internet connection. I was trying to add some sites I visit frequently to the favorites on my home computer for quite some time today. I hate dial-up. The next time I hear somebody complain about LU's crappy connection, I think I will hit them. These people should be forced to used dial-up for a week. I don't care if you are used to a T3 or something like that. I don't care if you have a better connection at home. I don't care if you could download something "thirty times in the time it takes this POS to download it once." You don't realize how freaking bad it can get.

There are still plants all over my house from the funeral. I'm impressed with my mother. She hasn't killed all of them yet. She constantly tells people she has a "brown thumb," and, for the most part, that is true. My mother has a gift when it comes to killing plants. She also has extraordinary clumsiness, but that is a whole different story waiting to happen.

I'll probably be heading to Nacogdoches later tonight to try to find a movie or game or something so that I am not bored out of my mind tonight. I love these guys, but we have such vastly different interests it is amazing to me that we are friends at all. They are athletic; I like to think of myself as academic. They like rap; I like rock. They are very social; I sometimes seem hermetic. They have blonde hair; I have brown hair. One of them is going into the Marines; I am almost anti-military at times. (Don't ask. Please. I really don't want to go into it. Maybe I'll write it out later if people are interested.)

And I've been rambling again. I'll stop now because I'm going to go find a movie or game.

Posted by Randy at 08:21 PM

May 02, 2003

Reflections

I had a very interesting night last night. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway.

At around midnight, almost everyone on my floor decided to go to sleep. I can understand why those who were leaving in the morning wanted to sleep, but not everybody else. I couldn't sleep, so I played a few computer games (with the sound completely off) instead of lying in bed for a few hours trying to fall asleep. Around 2 AM, I still was't sleepy, so I decided to walk around the floor to see if anyone else was awake. There might have been someone awake, but all doors were closed. I looked outside a window from my floor and saw that several people were still running around outside packing, cleaning, etc., so that they could leave in the morning. At about 3 AM, still unable to sleep, I decided to walk around outside for a while.

I walked some erratic paths just randomly choosing which sidewalk to walk down. I believe I circled past my dorm about three or four times during this entire period. On my way around the campus, I said goodbye to two other honors students I happened to see. Both of them have already left campus. The number of people I saw walking around decreased with every loop I made. On the last loop, right before I went back to my room, I only saw a few cars and saw nobody walking.

During this time, I had several thoughts which seemed to bring me both joy and depression. At one point, I was standing near the belltower and I discovered that there is a plaque which contains the names of students and staff members who died while attending or working for LU. The plaque begins recording names in 1971. I was shocked to see that four people had died in 2002. The plaque did not have as many names as one would expect it would gain in twenty-two years. However, standing there and looking at the names of college students who perished, college students who had their own hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals just like all of us do, was very sobering.

Looking at that plaque (along with other things) caused me to think of my late sister, my cousin, and their two friends. Their lives were taken at a young age. Many people, as I once did, proclaim this to be unfair, unjust, etc. Thinking about it now, three weeks after the accident happened, my perspective on this has changed greatly. My sister will never have to experience the death of our grandparents, our parents, our cousins, our friends, or my own death. She will never have to live through someone breaking her heart or go through the stress of four finals and three final projects all due in the same week. Although she will miss some of the better experiences in life as well, I don't think that she would switch her current position if she could in order to experience them. The pure happiness and joy she now experiences is greater than any I could imagine.

I also thought about how much I have grown since I have been going to LeTourneau. I try to imagine how I felt about a year and a half ago and I canít do it. I know that I had much less self-esteem and that I was terrified of what I was going to do in the future. Part of that terror is still there, but Iím not much affected by it. I probably wonít be until the semester before I graduate. At that point, it will most likely be there in full force.

I think that this is the longest post that I have ever written. I guess I will end it now that all of my (current) thoughts have been written out. My next post will probably be from the computer at my house.

Posted by Randy at 04:30 PM