March 31, 2004


The true sadists are those who consistently stir up pollen, dust, and other irritants into the air during the beginning of allergy season.

Yes, Physical Plant, I am glaring at you.

If you are going to clean something off, please use a different tactic. Blowing it around only lifts it into the air so that it can come back down at a different spot. You aren't solving the problem. You filthy sadists are only prolonging it and, in the meanwhile, torturing those of us with seasonal allergies. I hate you all.

Posted by Randy at 03:14 PM | TrackBack


I found this rather interesting. Wheeler, Anna, Ardith, Scholl, Gallagher, Martinez, and others took the time to carefully analyze about a dozen people and match certain characteristics of each individual's personality with famous (infamous?) characters from literature (Head=mode of thinking, Heart=mode of feeling, Body=physical characteristics or mannerisms).

The following combination apparently fits me. Now I'm going to have to read The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm only vaguely familiar with the story.

Head: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
Heart: Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Body: Jem Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Defining Characteristic: Humour- The Raven (The Raven)

Go here to see more interesting combinations.

Posted by Randy at 02:42 PM | TrackBack


by William Nicholson

Sheesh. I hate stupid legal stuff. Technically, since I am advertising the play, I have to put the name of the author, in font size no less than fifty percent of that of the title, immediately following the title. I also need to say that the play is being "Produced by special agreement with Samuel French, Inc."

Anyway, the play is going to be performed at three different times. These times are as follows:

Thursday (04/01) @ 8:00 PM
Friday (04/02) @ 8:00 PM
Sunday (04/04) @ 2:00 PM

All performances will take place in the Education Building. Student tickets cost four dollars. Tickets for anyone else cost five dollars. Honestly now, isn't that a really low price to watch me play the priest that marries Spaulding and Amy?

Come watch the play and give us your money!

Now, if you would like to read about the gripes a number of participants have concerning the play, please continue reading.

(All of the following are opinions expressed by myself. Some information has been gleaned from overhearing discussions between those more important in the production than I.)

I'm not really sure where I should begin with this. I guess I will start with one of the earliest gripes I heard surface.

We did not get copies of the script until about a month and a half before opening night. This was most unfortunate. I understand that the person responsible for taking care of all of it was quite busy during that time. The end result was that Spaulding and Amy, who naturally have the largest chunk of lines in the play, did not have a great deal of time to learn lines. Spaulding has had to practically memorize the entire play, and I applaud his ability to do so in such a short time.

Moving on to a slightly bigger subject, we have had quite a hassle concerning stage set-up. Thankfully, the play is being performed at the same time as Hootenanny. This gets that huge stage away from the storage room in the Advancement Building and gives us room to build and paint backgrounds and props. Unfortunately, we are not able to actually set up the stage until Wednesday afternoon. This means we may get a full dress rehearsal in on Wednesday. The administration has not been very helpful with Stage Right's needs. Despite the fact that we have to perform the play they selected on the date they set, we are unable to work on the actual stage in the room of the performances until the night before opening night. This has become more than a bit stressful.

We also have a limited budget. Basically, we used the profits from last year's production to pay for the majority of what we needed to buy. Since Lisa graciously took the responsibility of finding costumes for cast members, Stage Right both saved money and has a large number of good-looking clothes on stage. A number of the larger props needed are also being loaned to us from generous people. The majority of the money (I believe) has gone towards stage production and maintenance. This includes wood, paint, screws, etc. We don't have much money left to buy stage make-up. I am not even sure of the status of our make-up requirements at the moment.

One gripe specific to me is that of publicity. Approximately one week before the play started I was given the responsibility of promoting the play. This meant orchestrating a chapel announcement (of which I passed the responsibility back to Pat), creating a sign for Saga (which was done quite poorly, I have no artistic talent whatsoever), and creating small flyers to post around campus (which would not have been done quite as well had it not been for my roommate). The job also entailed creating tickets for the play and making programs for the performances. The tickets have been created and are now being sold. The programs are currently just a sketch on a folded piece of lined paper. All of this has proven to me that I do not want to be in charge of promoting or publicizing anything ever again.

Posted by Randy at 01:53 AM | TrackBack

March 29, 2004

One Year!

Today is the one year anniversary of my blog. I'll celebrate tommorow by updating my archives some more. How exciting!

(Update: All archives have been brought up-to-date.)

Posted by Randy at 11:22 PM | TrackBack


I have strong opinions about worship. Some people have very strong beliefs concerning worship that I think are absolutely ridiculous. Most often my rantings concerning chapel begin with a description of the worship service. Throughout these rantings and several discussions, I have developed a rather unique perspective on the whole worship process as seemingly defined by today's Christian culture.

I have come to believe that singing, dancing, throwing hands up in there, and praising loudly is not only irrevelant to real worship but also slightly harmful to the image of Christianity as a whole.

Now, before I am lynched, please hear me out. I believe I have some very valid points here.

First, let me explain what I mean by "modern worship." Imagine that you are sitting in a large room packed with people. These people all have "bubbly" personalities and are all wearing Christian paraphernalia. Suddenly, the light goes down, except for the stage light, and a band of mostly good-looking people walk across the stage to their instruments. They ask everyone to stand up. They begin with a prayer that is accompanied by some small musical notes played on a guitar or piano. This sufficiently calms everyone down and puts them in the "right mood" to worship. The band thens begin to play songs that are highly emotionally charged. After about an hour or so (more if it is a concert), the band stops playing, gives parting words, prays, and exits the stage.

Now, let's examine the physiological effects of modern Christian worship. The first thing asked of the audience is to stand. This makes sure that the blood flows through the body. Since the audience is also standing, it is easier and more natural for them to begin swaying back and forth in time with the music. This also helps the blood flow throughout the entire body. Once the audience starts singing, the amount of carbon dioxide in the room rises a great deal. The oxygen intake becomes quite diluded with carbon dioxide and causes the audience to feel slightly light-headed. Depending on the amount of singing, the blood of the audience can become slightly alkaline. This is due to the amount of carbonic acid leaving the blood stream. The effects of this and the carbon dioxide in the air help cause the typical happy feelings one gets while worshipping.

Let's move on to the psychological effects of modern worship. An observation was made in a book I recently read that claimed most people do not have severe emotions if no one is watching them. While I believe that there are several exceptions to that idea, I do believe that, generally speaking, it is quite accurate. Think of someone you know who is both deeply fond of worship music and sings quite loudly during worship services. Think back to times when this person is listening to worship music with a small group of people. Does this person still sing loudly and make almost-obnoxious movements? Typically, the answer in no. In a crowd, however, this person has an audience. These people can have a large effect on others in the audience. People might see this person and believe that they are not appropriately worshipping. Consequently, they may begin to sing louder, clap harder, or move faster. On another note, the "happy" feelings produced from the physiological effects of increased carbon dioxide are connected by the mind to the subject of the song. Thus, people begin to believe wholeheartedly that they are happiest when singing about that subject. A sense of belonging also develops between those in the audience. They begin to feel that they are accepted within this large group because of what they are worshipping.

Now, before you begin to object too loudly, I'd like to point out that this helps to explain the devotion many have to cults. When they worship, chant, or whatever they do, the misguided people feel happy and believe they are doing the right thing.

Many people experience many things while worshipping. I believe that a large portion of those experiences form from the physiological, psychological, and emotional manipulations (whether done knowingly or not) of those who lead the worship. True worship does not need music, lyrics, or a large crowd of people. All it needs is a heart in tune with God and the dedication to praise Him. Is it nice to worship with others? Absolutely. Is it always necessary? Absolutely not.

I currently prefer worshipping on my own rather than worshipping in Chapel. I don't like the crowds of people who constantly mock and ridicule those who are serious in their devotion to Christ.

Posted by Randy at 12:11 PM | TrackBack


Wow. I did a lot of work yesterday.

Starting at Shadowlands practice at about two in the afternoon and going almost continuously to three in the morning, I got a lot of work done.

After reading lines for the second act, several of the less important actors went to start painting part of the stage. Since I was talked into heading the publicity part of the play, I worked on making a poster for Saga at that time. The poster is rather bland because I have no artistic talent whatsoever. With that in mind, please do not mock it too much. If I can ever get in touch with Alex I will get the poster and put it up in Saga.

After I completed that I returned to my room to begin working on my Biology II workbook. I hate that stupid workbook. It is nothing but busywork. Unfortunately, it counts as a test grade by the end of the semester. Once I had finished about a fourth of the workbook, I returned to help Alex and Joe paint more of the stage. After about twenty minutes or so, Jeanette joined us. After the first coat of paint had been applied to everything we had to paint, I left them to rip off canvas from wooden frames so that I could continue my homework. I stopped by the Hive on my way back for my first meal of the day. This was around 8:30.

I returned to my room and ate. This was the most time I had spent relaxing since I had returned to LU. After finishing my cheeseburger, I once again started working on that disgusting workbook. After finally completing the workbook, I went to my suitemate's room to help him with a Comp. Sci. I lab. When I finished helping him, I decided to take a shower. While working I started to notice a smell. I soon realized the source of the smell was me. After the shower I began to create a flyer to promote Shadowlands. With my roommate's generous help and Wilson's advice, I was able to create a decent looking flyer. Once it is approved by Pat (or Amy or Jeanette, whoever approves it first), it will be seen in strategic locations around campus. After completing the flyer, I began to work on Calculus III homework. After Calc. III, I laid the groundwork for a program due soon in Comp. Sci. I.

Finally, after a day that seemed entirely too long, I crawled into my bed at three in the morning and, eventually, fell asleep.
Only to be awakened by my roommate intentionally playing Eminem in order to get me out of bed fifteen minutes before my alarm clock would have rang. Yes, I know you think I said to wake me up at 7:30 if my alarm clock didn't go off, but I didn't. I told you it was set for 7:45. And Eminem?! Why do you make me hate you?

Posted by Randy at 09:59 AM | TrackBack

March 26, 2004


Stop the presses. I have just heard about a breaking news story.

Apparently, only democrats are allowed to mock President Bush.

Just who does this upstart think he is? He should leave the Bush-bashing to the professionals.

Posted by Randy at 05:54 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Art, or Something Like It

Art. What exactly is art? The word brings to mind such names as Rembrandt, Picasso, da Vinci, and a multitude of equally famous people.

Does it bring to mind Marco Evaristti? If not, you should know that he has recently completed a work known as 'Ice Cube Project.' Is that really art?

Does art include music and literature? Is it limited to the realm of paintings and sculptures? Can photographs be considered art?

And what about "modern art"?

I overheard another student say something along the lines of, "Nowadays, art has gone completely downhill." Not surprisingly, this is from the same guy who seems to live in the past. He enjoys "film noire" movies and "classics." He listens to a great deal of rock "oldies" and seems to find bands I've never heard of that I think are rather horrible. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with old movies or some of the music he listens to, but I do believe he is being rather hard on today's artistic endeavors.

The main goal of any artistic endeavor, in my eyes, is to portray to another person a feeling. I believe that art is mostly, if not entirely, about emotion. A beautifully painted landscape can inspire awe at the beauty of God's creation. A painting portraying a mother and child can capture the tenderness and gentleness of love. Paintings that appear to be nothing but colors randomly thrown onto a canvas also can inspire certain feelings.

In some ways, these types of artists are as talented as any famous painter. They seek to convey a multitude of emotions in a seemingly chaotic manner. Many people know that Anatole Krasnyansky is one of my favorite artists. I happen to enjoy his more traditional cityscapes, but I love his more modern style. I own one of his paintings. Several people, however, seem to be offended by any art other than the traditional forms. These people greatly irritate me.

There is no "correct" form of art. Every kind of art has some value. Unfortunately, if the "right" people do not like a certain work of art, it will probably fade into obscurity.

Posted by Randy at 08:52 PM | TrackBack

March 24, 2004

Next Semester's Schedule

After much advising (both official and other), thinking, and planning, I have decided on what I am going to be taking next semester. Once again, Bib. Lit. got bumped back to another time.

BIOL 3404 General Genetics
ENGL 2223 English Literature I
ENGL 3103 American Literature I
ENGL 3403 Journalism-Publications
HIST 2113 American History to 1865
HNRS 3553 World Literature through Film

Yes, you counted that corrently. Nineteen hours. Unfortunately, I need most of these this semester.


I have this horrible feeling that I am going to be buried underneath an ungodly amount of literature next semester.

Posted by Randy at 03:08 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2004

Blog Update

Well, after I finally got someone to come do it for me, I have gotten all of my old entries moved over here.

Now all I have to do is go through them all, give them each a title, decide whether or not they are important enough put here, and publish them. So far, I've gotten through a month of old entries. I've deleted several from when I didn't realize I could hit "Publish" whenever I wanted to see template changes.

Anyway, if I can get about a month moved over every time I sit down to write something it shouldn't take me long to get my archives up-to-date.

Posted by Randy at 01:47 AM | TrackBack

March 22, 2004

Stench and a Cow Eye

There is a smell that seems to stick to my hands every Monday. Washing my hands seems to help it go away, but no amount of water and soap can get rid of all of it.

What is this mysterious smell?


I can't seem to get it off of my fingers. This evening I had the opportunity to cut up a cow's eye. Naturally, before I could get to it, it had to be soaked in formaldehyde and sealed in an airtight plastic bag for who knows how long. Strangely enough, I think that they kept the eye cold enough that the aqueous humor (liquid in the eye) was sort of gelatinous. It was really awesome.

Anyway, formaldehyde stinks.

Posted by Randy at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

Invisible Monsters, by Chuck Palahniuk

I just finished reading Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters. I prefer the cover on the book I have to the cover at the link.

The book has left me speechless. I have no idea where to even begin. Therefore, if this seems a bit erratic it is because the book hijacked my mind, molested it, and then dumped it back in my head backwards for me to try to sort out.

What was the book about? That is a question that does not have a simple answer. The plot is a bit screwed up, for lack of a better description. The reader should suspect this just from the opening chapter. By the time you meet the narrarator's parents, it is confirmed. The book deals with a fashion model who is shot in the lower half of her face. That tragic event destroys her career. Afterwards, she becomes involved with Brandy Alexander. She travels with Brandy and a man across the US and Canada stealing drugs from houses for sale. This, of course, only scratches the surface of the plot. There are so many plot twists and surprises that the reader is left with his mouth hanging open in shock by the end of the story and asking himself what the hell just happened.

Like all of Palahniuk's books that I have read, this one starts near the end. You start out fairly certain what the ending will be like and read to find out what the crap had to happen for that situation to come about in the first place.

Stylistically, the book is flawless. It reads a bit like a Tarentino movie would if it was forced into a novel. It constantly jumps back and forth on a timeline. It often returns to the same scenes revealing a bit more every time about the characters. However, the amount of time spent at any one scene can be anywhere from a paragraph to a chapter. Palahniuk uses this technique masterfully.

Content-wise, the book is...interesting. There are graphic details concerning plastic surgery and, ummm, other surgeries. The book makes references to and sometimes explains sexual acts of extreme natures. I want to give a bit more detail here, but I'm afraid of what kind of searches might lead here if I did. Palahniuk doesn't pull any punches. All of this helps to show just how messed up the majority of the characters in this story reall are, but I think he put in too much graphic stuff overall.

This is a book I would recommend to even fewer people than Survivor. I'm not sure that most people I know could read this book, and I'm fairly certain a good number of those who could would start reading and stop a few chapters into it. If you really want to know why that is the case, feel free to ask me.

Posted by Randy at 01:51 AM | TrackBack

March 20, 2004

Dawn of the Dead (New)

Anyone who knows me happens to know that I love horror movies. Naturally, I would eventually have to see the new version of Dawn of the Dead. I saw the original version a very long time ago and, unfortunately, I remember very little of it. Therefore, I will not be comparing the two.

The movie was everything you would expect from a zombie thriller.

It was quite gory. There is sniping, kicking, and biting. There are headshots, impalements, and chainsaws. There are jerks, morons, and breasts. This is a movie interested only in entertaining an audience. There might be some kind of satiric commentary somewhere inside it, but if it does exist it is pushed far to the back.

The basic plot is rather simple. Survivors of some kind of virus that turns its victims into zombies take refuge in a mall. Thrills and action scenes follow. In my opinion, the scenes before the opening credits are the best in the movie. However, if you enjoy zombie movies, the rest is not a let-down. The zombies in this version are similar to the ones in 28 Days Later--meaning they can actually move quickly.

The characters in the movie aren't too stupid. They only wander off alone a few times near the beginning. The movie is done in such a way that you might care about the main characters without knowing all that much about them. The audience is given practically no background on the characters. A small bit of information can be gleaned from the dialogue, but not really enough to make the characters seem all that important. The character who actually struck me most emotionally never even speaks on camera. There were two characters who seemed to have, collectively, only one real be involved with a chainsaw.

If you enjoy zombie movies, I would recommend this one. It has zombies, gore, and a good bit of humor packed in between the "action" scenes. If you don't like horror/thriller movies, you probably won't enjoy this movie.

I was entertained, and I will probably buy a copy of the movie. After all, you can never own too many horror movies.

Posted by Randy at 12:34 AM | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

Weird News

A few...interesting new stories that I have found.

Paint Ball

I'm a...boy?

Carcass Flower

Posted by Randy at 04:29 PM | TrackBack

March 18, 2004

The Sun Dog

I have just finished the first story I have ever read that has truly scared me. I believe this is quite important for me because of the amount of horror stories I read.

The story that accomplished this feat is the novella "The Sun Dog" featured in Four Past Midnight by Stephen King. It is the last novella in the book.

The novella is about a teenage boy who is given a Polaroid camera (a "Sun" model) for his birthday. The camera is a bit odd. Instead of taking photos of the things it sees it takes photos of a strange dog standing in front of a white picket fence. As more pictures are taken, the boy discovers that the dog is moving and appears to be violent in nature. Why did this story terrify me? I'm still not entirely sure, but I do have a few ideas.

In order to truly explain these out I have to reveal more of the plot. If you feel that you probably won't be reading the story I would suggest continuing reading.

Now, in order to describe the effect this story had on me I need to give away more details about the plot. The following paragraph pretty much tells the entire plot.

Before the boy realizes that the pictures the camera takes are all slightly different from one another, he takes the camera to be examined by a...what is the right, opportunist of a repairman who has had some slight experience with supernatural things. This man discovers that the photos are each slightly different and gives the boy a schedule of times to take more photos. They discover that the movements are much more noticeable after more time passes. They also discover that the dog is becoming much more menacing. The boy decides to destroy the camera because he believes the dog is coming to kill him. The man appears to agree. However, before the boy can destroy it the man switches it with a different camera so that he can attempt to sell the odd one. After many failed attempts to sell the camera it begins to affect him in strange ways. He begins to take photos without even realizing it. He awakes one night to discover he is taking photos in his sleep. At this point, the dog is about to leap towards the camera. The man decides to destroy the camera. That morning, he subconsciously deceives himself into thinking he does destroy it. He in fact destroys a cuckoo clock. The boy is at this point having dreams where he is trapped in a two-dimensional world where the dog is chasing him. He realizes from these dreams that his camera was not destroyed. He tries to go see the repairman only to discover that the man has bought more film and is taking more pictures. By the time the boy gets to the man, the man has taken the final photo needed for the dog to come to the "real" world. The dog begins to break through the photo (or be "born" according to the story) and is stopped by the boy thanks something he realized from his dream.

Why did this story scare me?

1. I have always enjoyed photography. Personally, I think I am horrible at taking pictures. I prefer to let others do it. However, I love looking at great photos. Hookah (as he calls himself when he comments) has taken some absolutely gorgeous photos. I think I still have some of them on my computer. The fact that the story deals mainly with an art I enjoy, though I know little about it, might be the foundation for this fear.

2. The story deals with the downfall of a character that starts because of his greed. Unfortunately, I am a greedy person. This happens to be one of my most hated aspects about my personality. I don't like loaning money. I hate giving things away. I can be a horrible miser at times. I don't think this part factored in all that much, though. After all, I huge number of horror stories include the demise of greedy characters.

3. The final ending (by which I mean the final few paragraphs) show that, despite the best efforts of all involved, the "Sun dog" is not destroyed. Not only is he still "alive" but he has also somehow been transferred into a computer. The villain of the story is an evil that can not be vanquished. While this does contribute to the horror of the story, I can not see it adding to my horror caused by the story. Lovecraft happened to use unconquerable evils in several of his stories and none of them have affected me to this magnitude.

4. I believe this is the biggest factor. The story deals with the self-deception of the mind and the subconscious desire of a person to walk into an unpredictable and frightening situation. The man unwillingly leads himself to his own painful death. I have always closely guarded my mind. "Brainy" things are some of the few things that I happen to both think I am good at and enjoy doing. Anything that deals with a person's mind deceiving and leading him down a path to self-destruction is frightening to me. It is a terrifying concept as far as I am concerned.

That is really all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there might be more hiding in there somewhere. In fact, I'm sure it could all be traced back to my mother if I looked far enough. However, I do not feel I'm particularly well-suited to attempt that task at this incredibly late/early hour. I think I will try to sleep now.

Posted by Randy at 03:20 AM | TrackBack

March 17, 2004

They're Right...

Occasionally, the guys over at Penny Arcade can make a rather harsh statement towards something. I think this happens to be one of those times.

Vietnam is Actually Kind of Complex

Posted by Randy at 12:11 PM | TrackBack

Blog Stuff

I just spent the last thiry minutes or so going over the first six months of my blogging "career." I think that my writing style and the way that I organize my thoughts have changed a great deal since I began. I would like to think I'm getting better at it. Unfortunately, I don't trust my opinion on the matter.

I really need to get my arcives over to this page. Maybe when I get back to LeTourneau someone who has transferred archives before can help me out.

Posted by Randy at 12:11 AM | TrackBack

March 16, 2004

What the Crap?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After scouring the web at this silent domicile I call my home, I am ready to present to you the following amusing links. Enjoy!

Lint Sculptures

Dog Noses Gallery

The Exorcist (in 30 seconds as re-enacted by animated bunnies)

Mail Order Husbands

Posted by Randy at 01:10 AM | TrackBack

March 15, 2004

Spiritual Ramblings

Today was rather interesting. I had to go back to Longview twice.

The first time was around 9:00 in the morning. My mother had to go and see an accountant. Why we use an accountant in Longview I will never know. Apparently, he was finished with all of the taxes that my family had to file. Unfortunately, his superiors were not finished looking over them or something. He couldn't give them to us just yet. After that disappointing news we headed to LU so that I could get a couple of things I forgot. I spent ten freakin' minutes looking around the room to make sure I didn't forget anything. Naturally, I forgot several things. Anyway, I had forgotten my keys, but fortunately for me I was able to get in another way. After that we went and practically forced one of the financial aid people to fill out a FAFSA for us.

On the trip home, my mother and I got on the topic of Anne Rice. Now, I have always felt blessed with my mother. She didn't freak out when I played Magic: The Gathering, she has always been a fan of horror movies, and she, generally, shares my reading tastes. Therefore, I feel perfectly comfortable discussing and debating literature with her.

I started with how I thought Anne Rice was a good writer. She explained how one of her co-workers has read everything written by Rice. I explained that I could see why some people (read: Christians) have problems with her and how I thought she had anti-religious rhetoric in her novels. She countered by saying she understood why Christians were upset with her writings. I replied with my beliefs that Christians should read these "controversial" things because many non-believers read them and that these novels can help a Christian find new angles to explain things to non-believers.

At this point, my mother threw out a statement which dazed me for a moment. This dazed me not because of the idea in the statement but because I had believed the very same thing not too long ago.

"I don't believe that Christians need to argue and explain our position. I think that every religion is worshipping the same God, just in different ways."

I told her that I had once believed that, too, but I do not anymore. I then explained why I knew that was not the case. That thought, however, caused my mind to wander back to when I first believed in it. I remember I was around ten or twelve and I was listening to my parents and a couple of their friends discussing religion. At one point, I piped in with that idea and it didn't leave my head until I had become a semi-atheist.

Ever since my sister's death I have seen God working in my mother's life. She has read a great number of books about God and grief. She is listening to Christian music. She is willing to have theological discussions. She isn't finished working her way towards God, though. She still has a ways to go. Looking at that makes me realize how far I still need to go and how spiritually lazy I have been around my home.

Was my naive comment seven or so years ago what put that thought into my mother's head? How many of my actions have caused Christians to stumble in their walks? How many of those Christians have caused others to stumble? These are all some very frightening thoughts to me.

Posted by Randy at 08:33 PM | TrackBack


You know, I would absolutely love to have this t-shirt.

It would make a great gift for a good number of people I know. Unfortunately, I didn't see it for sale at that site.

(Link stolen from the Sad Rabbi)

Posted by Randy at 03:07 PM | TrackBack

March 14, 2004

Secret Window

(Edited to add an extended entry)

Well, what have we here? Is it another Hollywood movie based on a story by Stephen King?


Secret Window is based off of Stephen King's novella "Secret Window, Secret Garden" from the book Four Past Midnight. It stars Johnny Depp and several other known actors. I have never heard of the directer, David Koepp, before now. It appears that he has helped write several movies.

Ok, I have tried three times now to be objective in the rest of my review and I am failing miserably. Time to just give my opinions.

I absolutely loved this movie. I left the theater smiling and a grin still comes to my face when I think about the movie. Unlike most movies based on a work by King, this was done very well. The director stayed extremely close to the story. He only seemed to veer off when it was needed for the transition from paper to film. The ending was quite different from the original, but it still stayed within the story (which is something you probably won't understand unless you have read it). The pace felt a bit slow at times, but the pace of the story was also slow.

Johnny Depp gave an excellent performance in his role of Mort Rainey. John Turturro played John Shooter a bit more "hick-ish" than I would have liked. Half of the audience in the theater laughed almost continuously at the accent. Of course, this was the same half that talked throughout the entire damn movie (I wonder if that is why I liked it so much...the ending shut them all up). Maria Bello fit the role of Amy Rainey absolutely perfectly.

If you enjoy suspense movies I recommend this one. If you are worried about it being based on a Stephen King story, don't worry about it. This story isn't the typical King. By that I mean there is not so much a focus on "horror" as there is on other things.

Go see it.

WARNING: If you choose to continue reading (by clicking on the link), you will read spoilers about the movie. Consider yourself warned.

Once again, if you are still reading this you will read spoilers about the movie.

Thinking more about the movie, I have realized that there are some areas that might remain unclear in the minds of those who haven't read the novella. Now, those holes were filled in by my brain quite quickly during the movie and I didn't think twice about the confusion it might cause in others. I'm hoping to clarify a few of those things here.

1. Tom Greenleaf's "I-went-that-way-and-saw-you-no-wait-no-I-didn't" claims

Tom Greenleaf is an old man who is terrified of Alzheimer's. In the book he is mortified if he even forgets where he lays down a paintbrush. He did drive and pass Mort and John on that road. When he drove by, he only saw Mort. As he looked in his rearview mirror, however, he saw a transparent John. He had been trying to convince himself that he did not see John at all.

2. Massive amounts of corn being eaten

The story Mort wrote which John claims was stolen from him ends with the lead character eating ear after ear of corn in an attempt to get rid of his murdered wife. The corn is growing directly over her body. This is why I said that the ending was changed but it was kept within the story. If the sheriff had been familiar with Mort's writings he would know exactly how to connect Mort to the disappearances.

3. That thing that only happened once

Mort did steal someone's story before. It happened shortly after he got out of college. In the movie, he was apparently caught and sorted through the matter with his victim. In the novella, he is never caught and his guilt over it helps produce Shooter.

I remember thinking that there were some other things that could need clarifying, but nothing else is coming to mind. If you have seen the movie and had questions, I hope this might clear up some of them.

Posted by Randy at 01:00 AM | TrackBack

March 11, 2004


Spring. The time of year
when sweet-smelling air
takes tons of pollen
to just everywhere.

Spring. The time of year
when all drivers are
washing the yellow
off of idle cars.

Spring. The time of year
when gentle breezes
carry the soft sound
of steady sneezes.

Enough of that. All to say:

I hate spring. I hate plants. I hate pollen. I hate sneezing.

Posted by Randy at 03:53 PM | TrackBack

March 10, 2004

This is Your Brain...

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.

Despite the functionality of the man's brain at the time, it's an awesome picture.

Posted by Randy at 08:44 PM | TrackBack

Important Information for CS Students

"It is better to not have any errors or warnings [in your program] than to have them."
--Dr. Craig Varnell

I'm glad that you cleared that up for me. If what you say is true then this next program should be remarkably easy. I'll just write it without any errors.

I think I should pass on this knowledge to my roommate. I'm sure it will make his CS classes much easier.

Posted by Randy at 02:22 PM | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

Context? What's that?

I never realized just how much fun it is to wrench verses of the Bible out of context. I am having an absolute blast working on my Creation and Evolution presentation. My selection of a topic I disagree with is making it even more enjoyable.

Posted by Randy at 11:07 PM | TrackBack

Next Week on Montel...

Wow. It appears that television can make someone violent.

Of course, frequent drug use combined with a heavy dose of Montel Williams might be enough for anyone to snap.

Posted by Randy at 11:22 AM | TrackBack

March 08, 2004


Well, it appears that the world's oldest man has died once again. If this rate keeps up, we should be hearing about the new oldest person's death in a month or so.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.

Posted by Randy at 07:03 PM | TrackBack

March 07, 2004

The Vampire Chronicles, Vol. 1

This weekend I completed The Vampire Chronicles: Vol. I. For those of you too lazy to look at that link, it included Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned and it was all written by Anne Rice.

I have always loved vampire stories. I am not sure why but something about vampires fascinates me. The novels that make up The Vampire Chronicles tell a series of stories involving the same vampires from the viewpoint of the vampires. I think it might be this fact more than anything else which causes people to object to Anne Rice's novels. In the eyes of a "normal" vampire, taking the life of a human is an everynight occurrence. This causes it to be discussed oftenly in a rather dismissive tone. It can be quite disturbing at first.

Many people seem to believe that these novels are specifically anti-Christian. Although Interview with the Vampire seemed to be like that at times, I have to disagree with that statement. By the end of The Queen of the Damned, it becomes extremely obvious that they are anti-religion in general if they are anything.

Putting theological issues aside, I enjoy Anne Rice's writing style. It is quite involving and by the end of The Queen of the Damned I cared about what was happening with every single character. The depth of information involved in the creation of each novel is remarkable.

Another problem that many people have is the amount of "love" scenes between the vampires. People who have problems with these things have forgotten two things, in my opinion. First, the vampires are no longer human. They have a human body, but it is basically kept alive by a "spirit" that enters them through the blood of another vampire. Second, the "love" discussed is not physical love. Other than an occasional kiss or hug, the love is purely emotional attachment.

I enjoyed these novels and will probably continue with The Vampire Chronicles. I hope that volume two is released soon.

Posted by Randy at 05:42 PM | TrackBack

Waiter, There's a Thumb in my Salad...

This is just disgusting.

How does someone slice off a thumb and not notice?

Posted by Randy at 05:11 PM | TrackBack

March 06, 2004

"The Passion of C"

That is what the title of The Passion of the Christ is shortend to on my movie ticket stub. I explained to those who asked about it that the theater had to choose between that and "The P of Christ." I think they made a wise decision.

I would like to make it clear that when I see a movie for the first time I try to watch it as objectively as possible. I often fail, but I do try.

People have called the movie grotesquely violent. The truth is that it is extremely violent. There were scenes during which I could not look at the screen. I strongly believe that no child should see the movie. Had I seen this movie when I was around ten years old or younger I would have been extremely terrified of Christianity. This is a movie for adults.

The violence may be grotesque but, unlike other films with high amounts of violence, The Passion of the Christ has a point. This point is often lost on those who know little about Christianity. The power of this movie can drive a believer to tears and should have non-believers asking questions at the very least.

Stepping back from the violence, there are many things about this movie I enjoyed. I loved that it was filmed in Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew. That added more to the movie than I could describe. They worked the subtitles in so well that I often forgot the movie wasn't in English. I would be reminded when someone would say something not important enough to be translated.

The performances of James Caviezel and Maia Morgenstern as Jesus and Mary were amazing. I believe that Mary had the most emotionally intense moments in the movie, and this makes perfect sense when you think about the situation. Everyone cast in the movie seemed to be perfect for the role they played.

I loved the portrayal of both Satan and Judas. Satan is portrayed in a manner that I find much more believable for his character. Judas' character was given much more depth in the movie. Naturally, a few creative liberties were taken with everyone in the movie, but the ones concerning the characterization of these two were done particularly well in my eyes.

This isn't really a movie I feel capable of describing to people. It is a very emotional movie and I am not the greatest at describing emotion. The best advice I can give is to go see it. It is worth seeing at least once. However, consider yourself warned that there is an explicit amount of violence. You can also check out The Limey Brit's review for more information about the movie.

Posted by Randy at 12:39 PM | TrackBack

March 05, 2004

Quiz Results

Well, everybody else was taking them and posting there results. If you really want to see what I got, check the rest of the post.

You're Brave New World!

by Aldous Huxley

With an uncanny ability for predicting the future, you are a true
psychic. You can see how the world will change and illuminate the fears of future
generations. In the world to come, you see the influence of the media, genetic
science, drugs, and class warfare. And while all this might make you happy, you
claim the right to be unhappy. While pregnancy might seem painful, test tube
babies scare you most. You are obsessed with the word "pneumatic".

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

You're Japan!

You tried to beat everyone around you physically, and when that
didn't work, you turned to mental arts.  Not only is this more acceptable to
those people, but you're really good at mental arts.  Somehow you're able to
fit a great deal of industry into small spaces, and this has generated a lot of income
for you.  Now if you could just stop eating whale meat, you'd be making real

the Country Quiz at the href="">Blue Pyramid

Posted by Randy at 11:53 AM | TrackBack

You Know...

I really should try to get my old entries over here. Maybe I can convince someone to help me out tomorrow/today...

Posted by Randy at 01:26 AM | TrackBack

March 04, 2004

"Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk

I'm sure that name has jogged a few memories out there. If it doesn't, Chuck Palahniuk is the man who wrote the book Fight Club. Since the movie version of Fight Club is one of my favorite movies, I had to read the book. I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. So, out of curiousity, I decided to try out another book by Palahniuk.

I finally bought a copy of Survivor. I believe that this is his second novel. All I can really say

The book gives its summary much better than I ever could:

"Tender Branson--last surviving member of the so-called Creedish Death Cult--is dictating his life story into the flight recorder of Flight 2039, cruising on autopilot at 39,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. He is all alone in the airplane, which will crash shortly into the vast Australian outback. But before it does, he will unfold the tale of his journey from an obediant Creedish child and humble domestic servant to an ultra-buffed, steroid- and collagen-packed media messiah. He'll reveal the truth of his tortured romance with the elusive and prescient Fertility Hollis, share his insight that "the only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage," and deny responisibility for the Tender Branson Sensitive Materials Sanitary Landfill, a 20,000-acre repository for the nation's outdated pornography--amoung other matters bizarre and trenchant."

Naturally, I would never recommend this book to everybody. The book has a bunch of very controversial things in it. "Assisted" suicides, cults, abuse, scams, various items of extreme sexual nature, and Bible verses are littered throughout the book. Fight Club is almost pure in comparison.

However, I believe that Survivor is a great deal better than Fight Club. The book is satiric from page 289 all the way to page 1. Yes, I did say that in the right order. The chapters count down to one as well. It's a wonderful technique that emphasizes you are reading someone's last words. I enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down. I will be extremely shocked if anyone ever tried to make a movie out of this novel. There are far too many sensitive areas to bring it to a visual format.

I would recommend this novel only to people who enjoy controversial books. If you are offended by casual dialogue about suicide, objects involved with pornography and sex, or satire concerning religion, stay away from this novel. It can be quite lewd in some areas. It is a very dark novel. If you enjoy Chuck Palahniuk's writing, you will probably love the book.

Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on another of his novels.

Posted by Randy at 02:43 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Randy vs. Chapel, Round 2

(Edited because this was written rather hastily and I felt like changing a few slight things)

Before I begin, let me say that I completely agreed with almost everything that Mr. Cahill said in Chapel today and that I will probably be attending the evening chapel at seven o'clock. I am not complaining about his message. With that clarified...

I did not like Mr. Cahill's presentation of his material. Despite his probable good intentions, he did manage to come off as a bit of a braggart to me. I'm sure that wasn't what he was trying to do. The snapping of his fingers got extremely annoying incredibly fast. I understand he was making a point. That doesn't change the fact that it was loud and high-pitched. How a finger-snap can sound high-pitched is outside of my knowledge, but his did to me. I was also rather annoyed by his constant need for repeating a word. "Yes!" "Disobediant!" "Disobediant!" "Yes!"

Those things, however, I can just ignore as being annoying quirks of a speaker. I can not do that with this next point because I have heard several speakers do this exact same thing.

For about two years before I became a Christian I considered myself an atheist. Not many people know this about me because I don't really talk about it. I was absolutely convinced that every single Christian was a moron, and I was fairly certain that the majority of them were hypocrites. I believed there was an almost ridiculous amount of evidence to show that life began without the help of any all-powerful being. All of this caused me to despise anyone who tried to "guilt-trip" others into becoming a Christian.

I would not talk with anyone about Christianity or Christ unless I was ridiculing it. I could not stand people who would walk around practically saying "Praise God" to anything. Nothing could have convinced me to actually listen to someone who was serious about God. This continued up until I did convert to Christianity.

My conversion to Christianity was not the result of some random Christian walking up to me off the street and asking something along the lines of "Do you know Jesus?" I would not have taken that person seriously. My conversion was the result of actions that I took. I went to a church camp for the sole purpose of being around my friends for a couple weeks of the summer. While here I met actual intelligent Christians who earned Christianity a lot of respect in my eyes. They presented evidence against evolution. The end result of going to this camp was my acceptance of Christ.

The point of this is that witnessing to me directly did not work during my short time as an atheist. This is a fact that many people neglect to mention. Mr. Cahill made it sound as if anyone can just walk up and ask anyone "Where are you spending eternity?" and almost immediately convert the person. If this were an ideal world it might be like that. The truth of the situation is that many people react extremely negatively to anything dealing with any religion. I know that I did. I expected to go to that camp and mock it the entire time.

My conversion came about because people cared about me as a person before bringing religion into our conversations. They got to know me. They took my opinions seriously. They listened to me. It was very obvious that they cared about me. This happened after several conversations. I can't believe that someone honestly cares about me after a ten minute to one hour conversation.

I find it irritating that so many speakers make it sound as if a Christian to walk up to an atheist, talk with him or her for a couple of minutes, and walk away with a brother or sister in Christ. While it can and does happen sometimes, it will not happen all that often. Most people don't like mentioning that, though.

Posted by Randy at 02:48 PM | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

In Case You Hadn't Heard...

Since I am apparently horrible at keeping my mouth shut, I'll go ahead and put it up here.

You know that change I was talking about in that last post? Well, do you want to know what it is?

Of course you do. Basically, I changed majors. All of the official paperwork has not yet been completed, but I have done all of it that I can do. I moved from engineering with a biomedical concentration to a double major of biology and English.

Why? Well, ever since Univ. Physics 1 I have been questioning whether or not I wanted to stay in the school of engineering. This choice presented itself for a second time during Univ. Physics 2. I hated Phys. 2 with a fiery passion. That class caused extreme anger to swell within me. Then, Circuits II was flung at me by a certain EE sadist/professor. Circuits became the bane of this semester as far as I was concerned. I was horrible at it. I then realized that this was the third class in as many semesters that caused me to question my chosen field of study. After putting much thought into the subject and discussing it with a few professors and students, I decided to go ahead and leave the engineering department for something I would enjoy doing.

That line of thinking caused me to move directly to the biology department. All of my favorite classes (excluding Inklings) have had BIOL in front of the course number. Biology is something that I am good at and it is something I enjoy studying. The possibility of following a pre-med program has entered my mind. However, I am not completely sure what I want to do yet.

Oh, right. I also chose to major in English. This has been the half of my current plan that seems to cause people to stumble over the double-major concept. I enjoy English. I enjoy grammar. I'm not (yet) perfect when it comes to grammar, but I have earned the title "Grammar Nazi" from my floormates for a reason. I am also interested in the literary aspect of the major. I like reading, and I like to think that I am a decent writer.

So, I basically swapped one insane course plan for another. I think I just might be a closet masochist. Fortunately, a surprising number of classes overlap for the two majors. I have also completed a good chunk of the general education requirements already. Best of all, I will now have a legitimate excuse to hurt people who make glaring grammatical errors. I can take those errors as an insult and react accordingly.

Posted by Randy at 01:43 AM | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

What a Change...

I just did something rather odd. I changed something in my life. It will greatly affect the course of my life.

What did I do? Heh. That's my little secret. Well, not really. Wilson knows about it. My roommate, my RA, and a few others on my floor also know about it.

As for the rest of you, you will all just have to wait until I know for sure that the change has taken place.

Posted by Randy at 01:58 PM | TrackBack