January 10, 2008

Dance Dance

My town has a new annual contest in a format vaguely similar to Dancing With The Stars. A local school (with an annual dance revue performed by students) has local "celebrities" dance with a high school student at a big event to raise money. The "celebrities" are supposed to be well-known in the community. Naturally, people in the media are requested to participate.

Working at a newspaper, it was only natural there would be a request for a volunteer. One of the editors participated last year, and the contest was looking for another willing body. Because I happened to enjoy learning the few steps and moves of the Lindy Hop for a class presentation, I decided to volunteer.

The program recently held its first meeting, and I was introduced to the dance revue and several of its student/dancers. I met my dance partner, and we spoke briefly. An instructor suggested we might be able to do a fun and entertaining west coast swing routine. As I was unfamiliar with the dance, I said I'd be willing to give it a shot.

Naturally, later that night, I decided to look for performances of west coast swing. I must admit that I feel slightly intimidated.

This appears to be one of the simpler professional performances I've found. I'd be more than happy if I could come anything close to that.

A more complicated and technically difficult performance can be seen here, and a performance showcasing acrobatics and flexibility can be seen here. A performance that just amuses me greatly can be seen here.

This entire process is still in its early stages. I might not even do this style of dance, but I am curious to learn if and how fast I could learn this style.

Posted by Randy at 03:20 AM | TrackBack

October 18, 2007


Surreal Moment of the Week: Watching three attorneys argue over two plastic bags filled with 24-year-old fingernail clippings taken from a dead woman during an autopsy.

Posted by Randy at 07:39 PM | TrackBack

September 17, 2007

R.I.P. Six Feet Under

It's hard to say good-bye. Once any emotional connection has been established, it's painful to watch it end. That's true whether it's with a person, a pet, or even a television show.

Three years after stumbling upon Six Feet Under, it's finally time for me to say good-bye. And it is not easy. In fact, I found it so difficult the first time that I couldn't finish watching the final season. Watching it with a friend forced me to confront the truth that doubled as the final season's slogan: "Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends."

I first encountered HBO's series about a family of funeral directors when I was interning in DC. One of my roommate's had brought most of the first season with him. I sat to watch an episode from the second season with him on our first night living together that summer. I knew nothing about the show, but I was hooked before the opening credits could end. He didn't have the first season with him, though. He told me his partner was coming to see him that first weekend, and I asked if he could show up with first season as well. I spent the first month of that summer working in time to watch the twenty-six episodes of the first two seasons.

The series traces several years in the lives of the Fisher family. The viewer is introduced to the family mere moments before the patriarch (Nathaniel) dies when a bus hits the new hearse he was driving. His wife (Ruth) and his children (Nate, David, and Claire) are forced to cope with his death and with each other. Federico, a "restorative artist" with the funeral home, has his own family, but he owes a great deal to the Fishers. The viewer also meets Brenda, who Nate meets and sleeps with shortly before learning of his father's death, and Keith, David's secret boyfriend.

To understand why this show captured my attention and imagination, one really should watch an episode. The premiere would be best, of course, but any episode would serve the purpose. The stories are infused with raw, emotional frankness. The actors fill their (somewhat heavily) flawed characters with an almost uncanny power and grace. It is, at times, almost too much to watch.

The story arcs, the characters, and even the settings can be intense. The characters make stupid mistakes and foolish decisions. The series embraces the fact that these characters are human beings. The viewer, or at the very least I, could not help but to cheer for them when things go well and to hurt when their lives fall apart. They feel like a second family to me, and this is the only show I have ever seen that has caused me to want to actually comfort more than one character.

The series finale, while brilliant, hurt. It is easily the best ending I have ever seen. It, and especially the last seven minutes, were absolutely perfect and breathtaking. I wanted to cry, both from happiness and sorrow. And I can't say anything else without potentially ruining it for others.

Six Feet Under has impacted me more than I can possibly say or explain. It immediately struck a chord within me, and it hasn't really left since.

It's time for me to say good-bye to the Fisher family. Although I own the entire series, I will no longer be able to experience their lives with them. I only have my memories and what is essentially a moving photo album.

And, to paraphrase Nate, that sucks, but it's a part of life.

Posted by Randy at 03:02 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2007


Accidents Wrecks do happen.

Today, I was sent to my first real accident wreck as a reporter. I won't go into much detail, but three-vehicles were involved and (by the time I left work) two people were dead. I arrived in time to see two people removed from the scene of the accident wreck on stretchers. I'm fairly certain one of those people died at a hospital later in the day, but I can't say that with full confidence.

It's an odd thing to write about something like that, especially when what is written is less than four column inches of text (about 120 words). It's one of those things that will permanently and dramatically affect those who knew the deceased, but it isn't "big" news because car accidents wrecks happen all the time.

In order to keep a clear head at the scene and while writing, I think it is necessary to distance oneself emotionally from what happened. One can feel awful about what happened later. I think it is more important to share the story of what happened.

The big question to which this line of thought must eventually lead is at what point does a reporter (or anyone else dealing with this sort of thing) stop seeing people as people. That is not something I can answer, but I can say I have not yet met anyone guilty of that.

On a related note, I met the reporter from the Tyler paper who covered the death of my sister. We are both covering a rather important trial. When I told him I was from Mt. Enterprise, he asked if I knew any of the kids that were killed a few years ago because he wrote about it. It was a tiny bit awkward after I told him my sister was one of them.

Posted by Randy at 12:04 AM | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

Flight of the Conchords

On Sunday, I went to the Wheelers' computer apartment, and they introduced me to Flight of the Conchords. I'm not usually a big fan of musical comedy, but there is something about these two performers that amuses me a great deal. The following video is a clip from the premiere episode.

You can see the first episode online at HBO's website. I'd recommend it. It's even rather clean, for those of you who care about that kind of stuff.

Posted by Randy at 10:30 PM | TrackBack

April 09, 2007


He said, "Can you hear me? Are you sleeping?"
She said, "Will you rape me now?"
He said, "Leave the politics to madmen."
She said, "I believe your lies."
He said, "There's a paradise beneath me."
She said, "Am I supposed to bleed?"
He said, "You better pray to Jesus."
She said, "I don't believe in God."

--from "Buddha for Mary" by 30 Seconds to Mars

Posted by Randy at 08:49 PM | TrackBack

April 03, 2007

Visual DNA

Read my VisualDNA Get your own VisualDNA™

I found this via Katy and thought it was interesting. I could have provided an explanation for each choice I made, but I decided to leave it open to interpretation.

Posted by Randy at 03:47 PM | TrackBack

December 05, 2006

Evil Dead: The Musical

No, seriously. Evil Dead: The Musical. It's an actual off-broadway musical in New York City.

Is it sad I would like to see this out of a morbid curiousity?

Posted by Randy at 04:11 PM | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

Photo Feature II

I always encounter a problem when I stumble across an artist like Gilad Benari of Israel. His work is so consistently and utterly breathtaking that I am forced to spend far too much time enjoying his gallery. I can easily lose an hour studying photo after photo after photo. Benari is easily one of my favorite photographers on Deviant Art. I've got several of his photos stored away among my favorites.

Though I'll probably share another of his photos at a later date, it was "A Touch of Crayon" that introduced me to his work:


(Follow the photo link and click the photo for an enlarged version.)

I don't remember how I first saw this photo. I was probably browsing through popular "conceptual" photos, but it doesn't matter. I do, however, remember seeing it for the first time. My first thought was that it didn't look real. I didn't think it was a photograph.

Once I accepted it as real, I began to delve into the beauty of the piece. The blinds and the window look ancient. They are cracked and rusted. The wooden pieces show their age, and you get the feeling that if you blew quite a bit of dust would fly off the edge. The colors are drab. The eye finds hints of color toward the back edge, but even it appears faded.

In the midst of this barren wasteland, a vivid splash of color commands the attention of the eye. It takes effort to look away from that red crayon. The strength of the color almost seems to mock the bland redness of the rust. In contrast to the aged window, the crayon appears brand new and unspoiled. The "point" of the crayon rests on a crack of the sill, subtly emphasizing the contrast of age.

The strangeness of finding a new crayon on the leaning against an old window sparks numerous questions. The most obvious, of course, would be "How did it get there?" However, I'm more interested in why it was left. Was it a child's crayon? Did he or she plan to add some color to the window or the drab wall? Where are the rest of the crayons, and does the owner even realize the red one is missing? One could easily create a story to answer these questions, and that is probably the main reason I enjoy this photo so much.

Posted by Randy at 07:30 AM | TrackBack

November 07, 2006

Photo Feature I

As I am significantly lacking in the posting department, I've decided to implement a new feature. Whenever I feel inspired, I will select one of my favorite photographs (most likely from DeviantArt) and elaborate on why I feel so strongly about it. If you have ever gone to my DA photo gallery and looked through my selected favorites, you know they range from the ridiculously simple to the incredibly complex and from the pure and innocent to the (arguably) risque.

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say I agonized over which photo I wanted to discuss first. After much inner debate, I decided on the rather haunting "Effect of the London blast."

Effect of the London Blast
(Follow the photo link and click the photo for an enlarged version)

Immediately after any kind of major news concerning violence, the focus is sternly fixed upon the aftermath. If you can ignore the argument over whether or not this focus is right or wrong, you have to admit most people want the gory details. The terrorist bombings in London was no different. The news media was practically flooded with photos of bloody and injured commuters and general transportation wreckage.

Sue Anna Joe, a 24 year old photographer, was in London the day of the bombing. Instead of shooting more of the carnage, she turned her camera to the window of a "shop" to capture a notice someone had taped to the glass.

Reflected in the glass are buildings of London that are unknown to me and probably to most people. One can make out the cross at the top of a steeple. Perhaps the photographer was hinting both that the destruction was caused by an extremist interpretation of religion and that some turn to religion during times of crisis.

Taped onto the glass is a simple note announcing the closure of "Albannach," which is presumably the name of the shop. The note also adds an apology for inconvenience. However, the apology is both in parentheses and a much smaller font. Is the author of the note truly sorry, or did he or she feel obligated to offer a token bit of kindness following the national tragedy?

I am not sure what to call the object along the bottom of the photo, but the circulating spikes make it appear menacing in this bluish tone. Similarly, the lamp seen just past the window's glass has spikes, adding to a generally unwelcoming and cold tone of the photo. Did the bombing create this sense of coldness, or did it just give it the opportunity to show itself?

All in all, it's a very interesting piece of photojournalism that would never be published in an actual newspaper. It provides some insight into the reactions of London residents, but it also generates a number of questions.

Most importantly of all, I like the photo. It's always possible I'm reading too much into certain aspects of it, but I still find it enchanting.

Posted by Randy at 12:50 AM | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Music Videos

EDIT: Added more videos. Newest ones are italicized.

Yes, I know. I have all but stopped posting stuff altogether. I don't really have an excuse other than I rarely feel like writing anything here for now.

To help fill the empty void left by everything I am not writing, I decided to share the music videos to random favorite songs I have had over the past several years. This idea springs from accidentally finding a music video on YouTube and remembering being asked on numerous occasions what music I like.

Before following any links, however, please note the following:

1. I have tried to choose my favorite song from each band listed. I know for a fact that I like more of each band's songs.

2. This list is by no means exhaustive. Bands were chosen simply by coming to mind. I am sure I will add to this at later dates.

3. Many of these videos may contain content some of the more conservative viewers may consider . . . questionable. I will provide a content warning to those videos I feel need it.

4. These are relatively large files and may take a long time to load, especially if you have a slow connection. For reference, loading times at LETU have taken anywhere between ten seconds and two minutes.

Linkin Park: Crawling
Adema: Giving In (Content warning)
Korn: Thoughtless (Content warning)
The Killers: Somebody Told Me
Three Days Grace: Animal I Have Become
Green Day: American Idiot
Garbage: Only Happy When It Rains
The All-American Rejects: Dirty Little Secret
Marilyn Manson: Tainted Love (Content warning)
Disturbed: Forsaken
Pearl Jam: Jeremy
Incubus: Warning<
AFI: The Leaving Song, Part 2

Black Eyed Peas: Pump It
Gorrilaz: Feel Good Inc.
Anna Nalick: Breathe (2 AM)
Madonna: Frozen (It took me way too long to find this. I couldn't remember the song's name.)
Gavin Degraw: Chariot
Sting: Desert Rose

Rent: La Vie Boheme A (Content warning)
Moulin Rouge: El Tango de Roxanne (Content warning, maybe)

Posted by Randy at 12:14 AM | TrackBack

April 07, 2006


Hey! Look!

My comments work again! Yay!

And I copied the code in all by myself!

Posted by Randy at 12:58 PM | TrackBack

January 26, 2006


I found something surprising in my mail today. Along with the latest issue of The YellowJacket and the junk from Student Foundation about flowers, I found a letter from Amnesty International.

The letter, naturally, was a plea for a donation. It summarized the driving force behind the organization, and it contained quotes from a couple of people that the organization has helped. According to its website, "Amnesty International undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights." Because I support that goal, I will likely send a donation.

That isn't why I'm writing this, though.

What I find fascinating is that I received a letter from Amnesty International. I am intrigued by this because, as far as I know, I have never donated money to any charity (or other) organization connected with them. Why would they ask me for money?

Do they just randomly send out letters across the country and hope for a response? If they do, that seems awfully inefficient. I would hate for my donation to be used to pay for more letters that would ask for more money.

If it isn't random, how did they come across my name and address?

Posted by Randy at 01:25 PM | TrackBack

December 29, 2005

Two Random Thoughts

Earlier today, an old friend of my parents called looking for them while they were not here. It has been quite some time since I last saw this guy, and neither of us recognized the other's voice. When he finally realized who I was, he exclaimed that I sounded nothing like myself. He said that I "sounded like a Yankee." I smiled and told him laughingly that I was sorry.


It is rare for me to be surprised by anything on regular television programming. Most of the writing is so tragically predictable. When a season finale is so shocking that I actually stop breathing for a few moments, it's good. The ending of the fourth season of Alias practically knocked me off my feet. It's kind of ironic, though. Alias has so many twists I knew something was coming, but I never would have predicted what happened.

Posted by Randy at 11:11 PM | TrackBack

December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays

From the bottom of my liberal politically-correct heart, I wish everyone out there a happy holiday season. I hope everyone has a safe and merry Christmas and a joyful New Year's Eve/Day. If anyone celebrates any other holidays, I hope that those are joyous occasions as well.

Posted by Randy at 01:57 PM | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

Season of Lights

I will concede the fact that I am generally annoyed by most things Christmas-related. I believe this is because Christmas is overdone, for lack of a better word. I quickly tire of all the sales and decorations and lights and music and etc.

Despite all that, I think this display of lights is quite possibly the coolest Christmas display ever. Be sure that your sound is turned on.

Posted by Randy at 01:48 AM | TrackBack

October 26, 2005


I really need to starting paying attention to the sequential titles of my posts.

As I was looking at the "recent entries" box on the left, I was amused.

"Shocking Discovery?"
"The Next Generation"
(Shocking Discovery! Children: The Next Generation!)

"Freedom Fighting"


"Classes Begin"
"Six Feet Under"

I can't help but wonder if my subconscious is trying to send me some kind of message.

Posted by Randy at 11:08 PM | TrackBack

July 17, 2005

"Quoth the Raven. . ."

I am also reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book I read when I take breaks from writing essays and studying for finals.

The book is a fantasy-type book that has gotten very interesing. I found the following passage just a few moments ago, and I decided that I have to share it.

It is below the cut because of a swear word.

Context: Shadow is a man recently released from prison. He is under the employ of a man called Wednesday. He just received word from a talking raven about what he needs to do.

The raven flew up and away. Shadow looked at the corpse of the baby deer. He decided that if he were a real woodsman, he would slice off a steak and cook it over a wood fire. Instead, he sat on a fallen tree and ate a Snickers bar and knew that he really wasn't a real woodsman.

The raven cawed from the edge of the clearing.

"You want me to follow you?" asked Shadow. "Or has Timmy fallen down another well?" The bird cawed again, impatiently. Shadow started walking toward it. It waited until he was close, then flapped heavily into another tree, heading somewhat to the left of the way Shadow had originally been going.

"Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."

The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.

"Say 'Nevermore,'" said Shadow.

"Fuck you," said the raven. It said nothing else as they went through the woodland together.

Posted by Randy at 04:39 PM | TrackBack

May 29, 2005

I'm a Liberal Christian!

At least, I am according to the Belief-O-Matic. My results can be seen below.

Your Results:

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Orthodox Quaker (98%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (85%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (80%)
5. Liberal Quakers (78%)
6. Eastern Orthodox (73%)
7. Roman Catholic (73%)
8. Reform Judaism (73%)
9. Unitarian Universalism (67%)
10. Orthodox Judaism (60%)
11. Islam (57%)
12. Sikhism (50%)
13. Bah�'� Faith (49%)
14. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (48%)
15. Neo-Pagan (44%)
16. Jehovah's Witness (43%)
17. Secular Humanism (43%)
18. Hinduism (42%)
19. New Age (41%)
20. Mahayana Buddhism (40%)
21. Scientology (40%)
22. Theravada Buddhism (40%)
23. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (37%)
24. Taoism (36%)
25. New Thought (34%)
26. Nontheist (30%)
27. Jainism (30%)

Posted by Randy at 05:35 AM | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Wedding Photo

Did you miss the wedding of the cynic and the teacher? Did you go to it but just didn't get to spend enough time with the happy couple?

If the answer to either of those questions is "yes" (and even if it isn't), check out this gorgeous photo of the newlyweds walking down the aisle. I'm rather proud of this photo.

Posted by Randy at 03:51 AM | TrackBack

May 20, 2005


Have some time to kill? If so, I highly recommend that you read One hundred surreal things that have happened to me. I do not know this woman, but she seems to lead a very interesting life.

Some of my favorite portions are provided below.

I would also like to mention my great love for the Metaquotes community once again.

92. Did you know that if you eat seventeen big sticks of cotton candy over the course of a single day at the carnival, you will become so incredibly amped-up on sugar that you are actually reasonably convinced that you can fly? And may then, in a fit of 'I can fly'-osity, climb the side of the Ferris wheel, thus forcing your uncle (who works for the carnival) to try to get you down by turning the Ferris wheel on, under the assumption that you'll just sort of slide gracefully down to ground-level? And more, that people that amped on sugar are capable of feats of super-human strength, and may cling to the bars of the Ferris wheel like lemurs once it starts to move, resulting in several hours of riding the Ferris wheel in a whole new way? Because, well, yeah. That can happen. (I was thirteen, I was stupid, sue me.)

81. I dislike avocado. I also dislike dinner parties where I have to wear starched velvet dresses and pretend that everything is all right when everything is all wrong. And that's why I mashed a big bowl of tomato horn worms, mixed it with some salsa, and put it on the table as a dip. And that's why I won't eat guacomole to this day, because no one noticed the difference. Yeah. Ponder that one with me for a little while, and then move on. I recommend moving on quickly, personally, because ew.

75. Miss Kitty is a three hundred and fifty pound California mountain lion who was declawed and had her teeth blunted by idiots who thought they could keep her inside an apartment. When it turned out that they couldn't, she wound up with animal rescue, and eventually ended up living with me for a short period of time. Miss Kitty rocks. Miss Kitty is fully capable of putting my entire head in her mouth, and would do so to show affection. This was not good for the blood pressure of anyone who happened to walk into the room while she was doing this, especially since she liked to do it while I was sleeping. Very good cat, Miss Kitty. Not her fault she weighs more than I do.

68. Walking past an open elevator at WorldCon, I was greeted by an older British gentleman gleefully shouting "Come and give your Uncle Terry a hug!" I did so. I then got stared at by my friends as I resumed walking, because in their worlds, Terry Pratchett doesn't just randomly demand this of people. Their worlds must be very dull, that's really all I've got to say about that.

57. While waiting for my baggage to arrive at the Orlando Airport, I watched a man come up, pick up a duffel bag from the carousel, unzip it, remove a very, very large iguana -- five feet, minimum -- put it calmly on his shoulder, and walk away. The iguana looked stiff but not particularly annoyed, and was last seen riding the man's head as he exited the airport. This was enough to calm my airport anxiety for several minutes.

41. I sang a complete duet of 'Suddenly, Seymour' with a man on the opposite BART platform, before his train came and he left. I still have no idea who he was or what he was doing there.

39. The first ever production by the Guerilla Musical Theatre Troupe that I'm involved in happened totally by accident. We were hanging around at the SunValley Mall, bored senseless, when Everybody's Angel turned to Adam, and sang, 'Think about the sun, Pippin...' She stopped. We've never been a group that lets go of a song cue, however, so I picked up with '...think about her golden glance.' Then we sang the next line together, Adam joined in, and the rest, as they say, is both a) history and b) an eight-person dance number in the middle of the mall concourse. Since we'd never all eight been in 'Pippin' together, we used a dance routine from 'Grease II', instead. Which is why I am sure that was also the only performance of 'Think About the Sun (Finale)' ever to involve Fastrada slinging Pippin backwards in a floor-slide between her ankles.

25. Leela fell into the toilet, taking most of a LUSH bubble bath bar with her, and proceeded to demonstrate that one cat can thrash enough to make an enormous quantity of violet-scented foam, given sufficient incentive to do so. Like, say, being trapped in the toilet with an enormous quantity of violet-scented foam. See the cat invent perpetual motion!

11. Don't pick up the rattlesnake. I did it, and I'm telling you, don't.

5. Because I was bored and had a container of glow-in-the-dark paint, I painted myself ghost-glow green, taped fake blood pellets to my feet, lit a candle, and wandered through my apartment complex glowing and leaving bloody footprints that vanished completely in the middle of a walkway. Half the neighbors moved out over the course of the next month and a half.

Posted by Randy at 03:52 AM | TrackBack

April 24, 2005

Look! A Quiz!

Because I seem to be struggling for actual content:

American Cities That Best Fit You:

60% New York City
60% Philadelphia
55% Chicago
50% Miami
50% Washington, DC
Which American Cities Best Fit You?
Posted by Randy at 07:25 PM | TrackBack

April 11, 2005


I found this far too funny not to share. I may have found this so funny because I occasionally mumble things in my sleep, of course, but I'll let you decide.

Found via metaquotes:

During 7th and 8th grade, I attended a boarding school in upstate New Hampshire. I always got along well with my roommates and appreciated such an interesting repore. The only thing I couldn't stand was being woken up in the middle of the night.

One evening, shortly after going to bed, I heard my roommate Tyler loudly whispering to me...

"Ben!" I didn't respond, a little confused. "Ben!" With this second call, I sat upright and looked across the room. "Hey Ben!"

"What?" I said in an exacerbated tone.

"Quickly, come this way!"


"Come on! Or they'll get you!"

"Who'll get me?"

"The Monsters! Dammit, Ben, they're almost here!" By this time I had realized it was a dream, so I was slightly intruiged but still annoyed. "Come on, Ben! Let's go!"


"Watch out for the cliff! Don't get too close or you'll fall!"

I paused for a moment, a smile breaking out over my face. This was my chance. "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" I cried out, tailing off as if I had fallen.

"NO! BEN!"

He didn't say anything after that, but the next morning he told me he had a weird dream where I fell off a cliff while running from monsters.


Posted by Randy at 06:36 PM | TrackBack

March 26, 2005

The Beauty of S*P

I would never have thought that my view of Christians as a whole would be so eloquently expressed.

Everyone should go read this one comic. If you want to see the events that lead to that comic, begin here and work your way forward.

I will be giving the typical something positive disclaimer. The comic is not for the easily offended. Despite this, I think everyone I know should read at least the conclusion (the first one linked).

Posted by Randy at 07:20 PM | TrackBack

February 06, 2005

Mixed Messages?

I saw a billboard with a rather strange message as I was driving back to LETU this afternoon.

It was one of those Virginity Rules billboards. If you aren't familiar with that campaign, it attempts to encourage young people to abstain from sexual activity. Personally, I think they are fighting a losing battle, but it is a battle that should be fought.

Anyway, the message on the billboard was: "Get in the Game, Choose to Abstain!"

With a number of modern euphamisms for sexual promiscuity revolving around "games," what are these people doing using that phrase? I really wish the people responsible for these things would move away from the "LIEK OMG VIRGINITIZ R TEH KEWL!" campaign.

Posted by Randy at 03:31 PM | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

Hu's on First

The new Abbot & Costello routine

This has been brought to you by the lovely people from metaquotes.

Read any comments at the site at your own risk.

Posted by Randy at 08:20 PM | TrackBack

December 31, 2004

What is She Doing There?

It's very rare for me to see/hear something that actually makes me spit out what I am drinking. I often hear things that might make me almost choke on what I am attempting to ingest, but it takes a true comic gem for it to actually make it out of my mouth.

Tonight, I was watching VH1. Despite popular belief, VH1 does occasionally air programs other than stupid list shows. The channel has two programs that I actually enjoy watching. The first is I Love the: [insert decade here]. I find it interesting because it provides a year-by-year history of a decade's pop-culture. The second is My Coolest Years. My Coolest Years recalls the high school experiences of a number of "celebrities" and puts them into a number of different categories.

I had the pleasure of watching My Coolest Years: The Dirty Hippies. I had already seen The Jocks & Cheerleaders, The Metalheads, and The Bad Girls (and most of you can just shut up, I'm allowed a guilty pleasure or two), and I had made some popcorn and opened a new Dr. Pepper.

About five or so minutes into the show, I started to take a drink. Popcorn makes you thirsty, after all. Anyway, a person appeared on the screen as I was taking my drink. This person surprised me so much by being in this show (The Dirty Hippies) that most of my Dr. Pepper went into my popcorn bowl.

I saw Ann Coulter.

Yes, you read that correctly. The ultra-neoconservative crazy Republican pit bull and author of conservative propaganda Slander, Treason, and How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must). Ann Coulter.

I laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that this woman is a real person.

Posted by Randy at 12:53 AM | TrackBack

December 15, 2004

'Tis the Season

I approve. (Warning: Cartoon violence implied.)

Of course, I don't believe everyone hates Christmas music as much as I do.

Posted by Randy at 08:56 AM | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

Oh, the Irony. . .

Can anybody explain to me why a certain ultra-neoconservative (who shall remain nameless) is delighted that, by the time he has children, he will be able to select their sex beforehand?

This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. The guy is opposed to gay marriage, abortion, democrats, and anything other than his own views, but somehow he is excited to play god with his offspring.

Silly inconsistent neocons, you bring so much pain humor into my day.

Posted by Randy at 12:57 PM | TrackBack

November 28, 2004

Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge

See that new link over on the side? Want to know what it is about?

The Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge seems to be a catch-all title for the numerous projects undertaken by Spirit of America. The project I have chosen to support (after it being brought to my attention by Wilson and Eliot) is seeking donations to help Iraq's universities.

Go to Spirit of America's website (specifically the Iraq's Universities section) for more information.

If you feel you are able and a blogger at LeTourneau, feel free to join the Yellow Project Team and donate.

If you feel you are able but not a blogger at LeTourneau, feel free to donate anyway.

Posted by Randy at 12:54 AM | TrackBack

November 27, 2004

Are You Kidding Me?

From a GE owner's manual:

"GE supports the Universal Design concept--products, services and environments that can be used by people of all ages, sizes and capabilities. ... For details of GE's Universal Design applications, including kitchen design ideas for people with disabilities, check out our Website today. For the hearing impaired, please call 800.TDD.GEAC (800.833.4322)."

Posted by Randy at 07:47 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Only Because This is Cool. . .

Biological molecules? Cool!

You are mRNA. You're brilliant, full of important,
interesting information and you're a great
friend to the people you care about. You may
have sides to you that no one understands. But
while you understand more than most people,
you're only half-there most of the time.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm mRNA? Then why does Genetics hate me? Argh.

Posted by Randy at 09:43 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

The Jabberwocky

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arm, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

--Lewis Carroll

If anyone actually understands all of that, please contact me. My psyche and I would like to have a discussion with you.

That is all.

Posted by Randy at 01:23 AM | TrackBack

November 09, 2004

Election Maps

I know. Everyone and their mother is sick of hearing stuff about the election. I sympathize, really.

However, when things like these come to my attention I feel it my duty to point them out. Besides, I find them interesting.

These two maps I found on Wonkette:

Purple Haze

Veritcal Division

The following site was found through Andrew Sullivan:

Maps and Cartograms of the 2004 US Presidential Election

Before you ask, I do not get all of my news through Sullivan and Wonkette. I do enjoy both sites immensely, though.

Posted by Randy at 02:18 PM | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

Global Personality Test

Before you sigh and roll your eyes at me, remember that I have not actually shared my quiz results for something like this in quite some time.

Besides, other people were doing it.

Global Personality Test Results
Stability (48%) medium which suggests you are moderately relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Orderliness (61%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.
Extraversion (31%) moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.
Take Free Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Trait Snapshot:

does not make friends easily, secretive, introverted, reclusive, observer, dislikes leadership, does not like to stand out, dislikes large parties, values solitude, solitary, nihilistic, does not fit in, does not want to fit in, submissive, unassertive, suspicious, prudent, unadventurous, worrying, weird, intellectual, frequently second guesses self

Posted by Randy at 12:10 AM | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Political Sadist

I just have to get this off my chest.

I am kind of hoping that Bush wins the popular vote but Kerry wins the electoral college.

Or maybe Kerry could win the popular vote but Bush win the electoral college.

Or maybe their could be a tie in the electoral college.

I just want to see the aftermath. Can you imagine the uproar any of those scenarios would bring? I think it just might be worth it. . .

Posted by Randy at 10:49 PM | TrackBack

October 29, 2004

Unique (and Cheap!) Costumes

Oh. My. God.

I really don't know what to say about these.

They are sure to grab the attention of others.

Posted by Randy at 06:15 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

Why I Voted Third Party

Newspapers, magazines, and a number of blogs all finally seem to be officially endorsing either Kerry or Bush for the office of President. Therefore, I have decided that it is about time for me to explain my position and thoughts concerning this election to the best of my ability.

I voted early two days ago. I voted for Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate. As my vote has already been cast, feel free to disagree with me, but understand that my vote can not be changed.

Many people view voting for a third party candidate a waste of a vote. I could not disagree more. It may be true that third parties rarely win offices, but the point of voting is not to try to vote for the candidate who will win. By voting, a person expresses his or her views on a subject. If that person disagrees with both major parties, he or she should still vote. Since many people do not (and never will) vote, choosing not to vote is a weak way to show disapproval. If one instead examines the views of third parties, one may find groups of people who also disagree with the two major parties.

Voting third party is a much stronger way to protest the current direction of our country. The third party voter still is passionate enough about politics, but the voter disapproves of both paths the country has to choose between. Each side lost a potential vote. When enough voters realize this form of protest, both the Democratic and Republican parties will modify their stances in an attempt to bring the third party voters into their respective ranks.

I suppose another position to explain is why I am against both Bush and Kerry. I suppose this could get interesting as I have never attempted to fully explain why I want neither man in office.

Why I Did Not Vote for Bush:

George W. Bush was definitely the right man to have in office for 9/11. When he decided to invade Iraq, I quietly supported his actions. I was not happy about the decision, but I felt that the man knew what he was doing.

However, I then learned that Iraq did not have what Bush claimed it had. I understand that this was an intelligence failure. If the Bush administration had just come right out and said that they made a mistake, I would have continued to back Bush.

They did not do that, though. In fact, Cheney even flat out said that the adminstration "already knew" that Saddam did not have WMDs. Bush has been attempting to justify the war by showing the atrocities that Saddam had been performing and the corruption in the UN. All of that is true, but that is not why Congress voted to go to war. Don't get me wrong. I am glad that Saddam is no longer in power. However, I am disgusted that our President is trying to justify going to war after the main reason he wanted to go to war has been proven to be untrue.

I also believe that Bush has mishandled the war in Iraq. There should have been more troops there from the very beginning. He should not have declared a victory as early as he did. He should be attempting to get world support now that we are already there.

As far as economic policy and government spending, I do not think Bush did a good job at all. I believe that the tax cuts he made were the right choice at the right time, but when a President cuts taxes he should also cut government spending. Bush is apparently unable to do that. The fact that his campaign has attempted to show Kerry in a bad light for planning to spend large amounts of money is laughable. At least Kerry has said that he will have to cut back on his plans in order to deal with the gigantic deficit Bush has created.

I am also disgusted with Bush's attempts at domestic policy. I was appalled that he would attempt to increase government regulation of marriage. I am horrified that he has often structured his policies to appease the religious right. I am a full supporter of individual rights. Attempting to create laws based off of religious beliefs will restrict individual rights and liberties. Bush (and many lesser Republicans) seem to forget that the United States is a democracy and not a theocracy.

Why I Did Not Vote for Kerry:

John Kerry is an interesting candidate for the Presidential election. It is less than a week until Election Day and I still do not know where he stands on many issues. While I believe that no area of politics is as simple as black and white, Kerry seems to refuse to take a solid stance on any single issue. This fact is something the Bush campaign has fervently used when smearing Kerry.

My reason for not voting for Kerry is much simpler than my reasons for not voting Bush. I just don't trust him. I can not vote for a candidate who may change his mind about almost anything at any time.

Kerry also seems to think that the government can and should solve any problem. I heartily disagree with this line of thinking. I believe that the federal government is already bigger than it should be, and I believe that Kerry will increase its size.

Posted by Randy at 04:16 PM | TrackBack

Fun Political Photos

I am not anti-Bush. I promise.

With that said, go look at this photo.

I laughed.

Before anyone starts, I realize Bush's heart was in the right place with the No Child Left Behind Act. It is a shame, however, that teachers all over the country are against it and say it is underfunded.


And just to prove I'm not anti-Bush, here is a picture of Clinton campaigning for Kerry.

Posted by Randy at 02:06 PM | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

Bush and Abortions

Would anyone have predicted that under a staunchly pro-life conservative President the number of abortions would increase?

According to this article, the average number of abortions has risen by over ten percent in states that have abortion statistics. The article shows the intriguing connection between economics and abortions.


[Link found through Andrew Sullivan]

Posted by Randy at 01:35 AM | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

The Dilemma

Even if you have decided on who you will be voting for, I would like you to go to President Match and take their quiz to see how well each candidate matches your opinions.

My results surprised me.

Kerry: 59% match
Bush: 29% match

Apparently, I agree more with Kerry. I find it amazing that I agree with neither of the two real candidates on more than three-fifths of the issues.

I wish the quiz included third part candidates, though. That would have made the results a bit more interesting.

Posted by Randy at 03:52 PM | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

Debate Fun

The lovely people over at Wonkette have provided a way to make the VP debate a little more interesting.

Posted by Randy at 05:42 PM | TrackBack

October 02, 2004

Class Politics

A funny thing happened in British Literature I yesterday. I was having a conversation with a friend about politics that went something like this:

ME: I think I'm going to vote for a third party since I'm in Texas and my vote is pointless anyway [since Bush is going to win Texas no matter how I vote].

FRIEND: You would seriously waste your vote on a third party that you know won't win?

ME: The point of an election is not to vote for the winner. I'm going to vote for who I think is the best candidate.

FRIEND: You don't think Bush is the best candidate?

ME: I don't think any of the choices are the best candidate.

At this point, two other students sitting in front of us turned around:


RANDOM STUDENT 2: Yeah, I agree with you.

I simply looked at my friend and smiled. He later told me to stop laughing about my victory.

My opinion of the general LeTourneau student body was improved by those two students yesterday.

Posted by Randy at 04:00 PM | TrackBack

September 26, 2004

From the Creators of South Park...

Blame Scott and Wilson for this.

Quiz can be found here if you are interested.

Posted by Randy at 11:45 PM | TrackBack

September 22, 2004

Computer Question

Does anyone have any idea as to why my computer has stopped allowing me to open links in a new window? "My computer hates me," though true, is not the answer I need.

I can not even delete the comment spam because the delete confirmation is in a new window. The plus side to this window problem is that I have not had to deal with any pop-ups actually coming through and annoying me.

Any suggestions how to fix this?

Posted by Randy at 12:53 PM | TrackBack

September 10, 2004

Advice to Parents With Childless Friends

If you know me very well at all, you know that I have some rather negative opinions of small children. This has been with me for as long as I can remember (yes, that does include when I was one).

Therefore, I found the following link rather amusing. It is a post in a LiveJournal giving advice to parents about how to treat their childless friends. If/Before you read this article, I must tell you that it can be extremely crude in a few areas. Read at your own risk.

Here is a small sample from the section entitled "Pets":

Also, try to prevent them from making loud shrieking sounds around our pets. Excited children sound much like squealing rabbits, and this has been known to drive some dogs to kill. As much fun as this would be as an organized sport, it is not yet recognized in the U.S., and it is also hell on carpets.

Go here to read the rest.

Posted by Randy at 01:00 PM | TrackBack

September 02, 2004

Fun Icons

Today I was perusing a Livejournal community I lurk at and I found a number of icons I really enjoyed. I thought that some of my readers may enjoy a few of them.

Here are a few:






This is my favorite:


And here is a nice random picture:


Posted by Randy at 09:02 PM | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Political Immaturity

Normally, I can stand politicians mocking each other. Normally. I happen to think that the John Kerry Flip Flop Olympics slightly crosses the line.

Now, I would not have cared if this had been on some other website because it does make a point. Making the point with entertaining flash animations on the GWB official website is a bit immature.

Shame on you, George.

Posted by Randy at 06:33 PM | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Randy's China Email

Well, I have decided on a winner. Congratulations, oh Vengeful one! Martinez gets honorable mention, though, so I'll probably get something for him as well.

If you want to send me email while I am in China, you can send one to my letu account and I will send you the address. You will also get a copy of the correspondence guidelines.

I am also putting the correspondence guidelines right here.


Posted by Randy at 02:02 PM | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

32 Signs You May Not Be A Patriot

A list I found in the back of GQ. A specific author is not credited. (I was looking through a copy of GQ because I was asked to find photographs of US "fashion" to use in China, but I must admit I found some interesting articles in it.)

01) You still eat French fries.
02) You don't salute Bill O'Reilly at the beginning of The O'Reilly Factor.
03) You listen to NPR.
04) You think you may have once engaged in "chatter" when you were on a crosstown bus.
05) You can't remember if Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is the one who should be summarily killed.
06) You're still a fan of the Bill of Rights.
07) You didn't shop for major appliances in the months after September 11.
08) You've never read a Tom Clancy novel.
09) You're kind of turned on by the whole Mexican invasion.
10) You wouldn't mind messing with Texas.
11) You think universal health care is a sensible idea.
12) You get all your drugs from Canada.
13) Not only can't you name your assemblyman; you don't really know what one is.
14) You'd consider harboring a fugitive from justice...if she put out regularly.
15) You think Miss America is never half as good-looking as Miss Italy.
16) You'd rather sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch than the lachrymose "God Bless America."
17) If twenty mujahideen tied you down and threatened you with cattle prods, you would quite willingly give them Dick Cheney's address.
18) You think the flag of Brazil is a lot cooler looking than the Stars and Stripes.
19) You can't name your amendments.
20) You lie your way out of jury duty every time.
21) You don't know the words to Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
22) You're proud of the fact you live in a blue state.
23) You can't name a single Olympian.
24) You're afraid to visit certain parts of the country.
25) You still think the Geneva conventions make pretty good sense.
26) You used to play Quake with Mullah Omar.
27) You used to rent your attic to the Lackawanna Six.
28) You removed the W from your keyboard.
29) You don't Super Size.
30) You speak a foreign language.
31) You can see both sides of an argument.
32) You question the president's leadership.

Posted by Randy at 01:01 AM | TrackBack

June 28, 2004


As my trip departure date is rushing towards me at an almost horrific speed, I need to create a temporary email address to use while I am in China. I don't currently know how much access I will have to the internet while I am in China, but I want to be prepared.

This is where I need help. Whoever submits the email prefix that I judge to be the most worthy (judged on creativity, originality, and suitability) will receive a (probably cheap) gift chosen by me in China.

You have until Thursday at 12:01 AM to submit your suggestions in the comment box.

Good luck!

Posted by Randy at 01:20 AM | TrackBack

Just For Katy

This is just for Katy because I used what she calls me:

How to make a Randy Carl
5 parts competetiveness
1 part ambition
5 parts empathy
Blend at a low speed for 30 seconds. Add sadness to taste! Do not overindulge!


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com

Before some of you start laughing at that empathy part, you should know that I have a bit more than you would expect. I would like to bump a couple of those empathy parts to ambition, though. That might be more accurate.

Posted by Randy at 01:13 AM | TrackBack

June 13, 2004

Weekend fun...

I have a few things that I would like to say.

First, I am THE KING of Anti-Monopoly. Anna, Ardith, Scholl, Jared, and Lilly should bow to their master.

Second, The Book of Bunny Suicides is one of the funniest (and darkest) illustrated books I have ever seen. The cover of the book should tell you all you want to know.

Third, the act of doing nothing all day in Longview can still be fun if you are with friends.

That is all.

Posted by Randy at 06:46 PM | TrackBack

June 10, 2004

Portrait Illustration Maker

So, I found this neat little website where you can make an illustrated portrait of someone. It doesn't work perfectly, of course, because you are selecting from pre-drawn items. A large number of the items are also a bit more oriental in nature. It can be a lot of fun, however.

I managed to create the following:

Get that mouse away from my face!

In case it is not obvious, that is a seat in the background. I was trying to make my face, but the only parts I feel are really accurate are the hair and the eyebrows. The eyes are similar, but they did not have my eye color for a choice.

Play with it. It's fun.

Posted by Randy at 08:34 PM | TrackBack

June 09, 2004

Music Question

This entry is directed mostly to Hookah simply because I think he is most likely to be able to answer me. If anyone else knows, however, please leave an answer.

Yesterday as I was driving a song came on the radio. That in itself is quite startling as it was a station owned by Clear Channel Communications. Anyway, the song was a bit of a combination of R&B and rap. It started out with a girl humming. The humming and the music which accompanied it made me think of a song I believe I heard off of Hookah's computer. This thought made my jaw drop for a moment because this station playing an "older" song like that would be the equivalent of my rock station playing Buddy Holly. It just does not happen.

Now for my question. Isn't there some song which includes Lauryn Hill humming in the background while someone else raps? I think this is from when she was with that group she was in (I'm thinking it was the Refugees, but I'm not sure.). I'm desperately hoping I did not just ask the equivalent of "You know that Metallica song where there is a guitar," but I apologize now if I did.

Posted by Randy at 09:29 PM | TrackBack

June 06, 2004

Quiz Time

You're Scholl!

Which Member of the Shadow Council Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Unfortunately, due to Wheeler's admitted laziness, I am not one of the possible results for the quiz. Knowing this in advance, I predicted this result.

What I found strange, though, was that by changing a single answer I gained the following result:

You're Jared!

Which Member of the Shadow Council Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I think I am somewhat of a combination of the two.

Posted by Randy at 07:51 PM | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Creepy Crawlies

I made two personal observations involving "lower life forms" today. Naturally, both were made after experiencing an event on accident.

First, nothing in this past year has terrified me more than when I accidentally grabbed a large (about three-inch legspan) garden spider while trying to move a box this afternoon. Before you mock me, understand that I have no problem with spiders unless they are touching me.

Second, never have I heard such a satisfying crunch as when I accidentally crushed some kind of insect by putting a Playstation 2 disc back in its case this evening. I had not looked inside the case before putting the game back inside it. Therefore, I did not see that a decent-sized bug was sitting where the game rests.

What a strange day this has been...


That spider I was just talking about was found as I was moving a box in my room. As I jumped backwards in terror when I found it, the spider got away. I hadn't thought much of it afterwards because, like I said, spiders are fine as long as they stay away from me.

Well, that spider is now resting on my pillow on my bed. I can't crush him because it would go all over my pillow, and I am afraid of moving the pillow because I do not want the spider to be near me. Now that I have seen this spider on my bed I am not going to be able to sleep in my bed until it is dead.

This is very irritating.

Posted by Randy at 01:55 AM | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

Freud and Silent Hill 2

I just completed the game Silent Hill 2. I must admit that the game blew me away. This game contains a very rare blend of action and intellect that is hidden beneath a dark and twisted storyline. For those of you rolling your eyes because I'm talking about a video game, do not judge this post so quickly.

The entire plot of this game seems to revolve around finding the truth about the past. This truth is altered and distorted by the twisted mind of the protaganist, James Sunderland. All we know at the beginning of the game is that his wife Mary died three years ago and that he has somehow gotten a letter from her asking him to come to the resort town of Silent Hill. By playing through the game, interacting with several key characters, encountering disturbingly deformed monsters, and experiencing strange locales, the player can infer a great deal of information about the relationship between James and Mary.

In order to truly delve into what my title implies is coming, I must divulge a great deal of information about the game. If you do not care about the spoilers that will be following, please continue to read. I should warn you, though, that what follows is quite long.

Before I get into what follows, I need to make a quick note. The majority of the insights and inferences you are about to read I did make on my own. A few, however, I only noticed after reading one plot anaylsis by Da Dood at GameFAQs.

By the end of the game, the player learns that James killed Mary because he was tired of dealing with her disease. This knowledge helps to prove that his whole Silent Hill experience is his punishment for his deeds. James does not realize at the beginning of the game that he killed his wife. However, the first video after starting the game shows James looking into a mirror. This is the first clue to the player that whatever follows is still centered around James' psyche. The first thing that James encounters upon his arrival in Silent Hill is a heavy fog. This hints towards how James is intentionally clouding his mind to the truth of what happened and is hoping to find his wife in Silent Hill.

We also learn that James is a rather selfish and shallow man whose life seems to center around his own sexuality. Before I get into those details, however, let me describe the other characters in the game. There are only two other real people that James meets in the town, but even they help James on his mental journey.

Eddie is a young man who was constantly mocked in his younger years for being overweight. Like James, he is drawn to Silent Hill to receive punishment. Eddie even compares himself to James. Eddie becomes a murderer whose deadly actions contrast the actions of James. After Eddie's first murder, the player meets him in a bathroom where Eddie is puking. He quickly gets over this squeamishness. He kills at least two more times before he turns on James and attempts to kill him. Eddie kills for vengeance. He sees everyone as against him.

Angela is a woman who comes from an abusive family. The player is told that her father sexually abused her rather frequently. The player also learns that her father is dead, but Angela seems to block out that information. She lives in fear of her father and of the world in general. In one striking scene, the player sees the world as Angela sees it--wrapped in constant flames that try to consume everything. Angela appears to have come to Silent Hill to prepare herself to commit suicide. Near the beginning of the game, she gives James a knife because she is afraid of what she may do with it if she keeps it. Near the end of the game, she asks for the knife back. When James refuses to give it back, Angela accuses him of saving it for himself.

Eddie and Angela are the two real people that you will meet in the game. This is confirmed by the fact that you will later find open graves for James, Eddie, and Angela. I believe that these next two characters are created by James to help lead him to the truth about the past.

Maria is a woman who looks and sounds exactly like Mary. James finds Maria in the park he thought Mary wanted him to go. How do I know that Maria is not a real person? She is killed three different times. Maria reflects everything about Mary that James loved, and she shows the player the shallowness of James. Maria is beautiful, fun-loving, and bold. She is wearing revealing clothing, and she has a tatoo of a hummingbird in a rather prominent position. It is implied that she was an exotic dancer. Maria is everything that James wants in a sexual partner.

Laura is an eight year old girl found in town. She seems to persecute both Eddie and James when she finds them. She claims to have been a patient in the same hospital that Mary was in and that she and Mary became friends. She is searching for Mary, but by doing so she leads James to discover the truth about himself. It seems to me that Laura is made of everything of Mary that James did not like. The fact that she is a young girl implies that James did not receive sexual satisfaction from this side of Mary. Laura's bratty tendencies reflect Mary's actions while she was in the hospital. These actions were what caused James to hate and to kill Mary. Laura's hatred of James also reflects Mary's anger towards him for his pity and attitude while she was in the hospital.

Now that I've discussed the characters, I want to move on to the monsters encountered in the game. I'm going to start with the lowest and move up to the big boss.

The first monsters encountered are called the "Patient Demons." These are humanoid creatures wrapped in what appears to be a form of straightjacket that vomit acid at James. The whole "illness" motif surrounding this enemy could be a reference to Mary's illness. Her life and her attitude were both deformed by the disease.

James then encounters "Mannequins." These monsters are basically two sets of female legs stuck together, and they attack by kicking out with the upper legs. This monster is an obvious reference to James' sexual appetite. The first time he sees the monster is in a room that contains a (headless and limbless) mannequin wearing the exact same clothing as Mary wears. In that same room is a memo that says that a man in a relationship should never turn to another woman for comfort.

Another interesting monster is the "Nurse Demon." These are found in a hospital, naturally, and they attack with steel pipes. The "Nurse Demon" is yet another reference to Mary and her time at the hospital. The "nurse" aspect of this monster also plays to the common male fantasy involving female nurses.

There are a few other monsters as well, but the most important one left is the "Pyramid Head." This monster is shaped like a human except that he has a huge red pyramid-like structure where his head should be. He attacks with a very long, very large knife. The knife is clearly phallic in nature and the fact that the monster uses this knife as a weapon indicates the oppresive sexuality of the character. This monster can be seen as James himself. The first time the player sees "Pyramid Head" he is standing still in a hallway behind some metal bars. If the player positions James to be facing the bars, it can be seen as a mirror. The monster never shows his face. This implies that he feels shame about his acts. During the player's first close encounter with him, "Pyramid Head" appears to be raping a "Mannequin." This ties the sexuality of James to the monster. James can even use the big knife the "Pyramid Head" uses as a weapon. James and the "Pyramid Head" run towards the same siren sound at different points in the game.

By the end of the game, however, it appears that all of the monsters and many of the locations existed solely in the mind of James. Everyone but James and Maria can move around freely throughout the town without encountering the monsters. James does save Angela from a monster once, but from her reaction after being "saved" it could be argued that James imagined the monster in the first place. James travels through a twisted labyrinth not found on any map in the game. He jumps down his own grave in order to get to one location. He runs down a staircase that seems to go down forever.

Few games can successfully intertwine action, puzzles, and psychology. Almost none have done it at cleverly and as seamlessly as Silent Hill 2. I can't wait to get my hands on the other games in the series.

Posted by Randy at 06:07 PM | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

22 Greatest CDs

I just finished watching MTV2's 22 Greatest CDs. It is a rather impressive list. As the list was created from MTV fans, I am really quite shocked by actual quality on the list.

The result of the fans voting is listed below. The selections in bold are CDs that I would like to own. The selections with an asterisk after them will be discussed if you decide to continue reading this post.

22) Garbage - Garbage*
21) Live - Throwing Copper
20) Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape
19) Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814*
18) Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
17) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom*
16) Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine*
15) TLC - CrazySexyCool*
14) Radiohead - OK Computer
13) Dr. Dre - The Chronic
12) Bruce Springstein - Born in the USA
11) Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
10) Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory*
09) Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP*
08) Pearl Jam - Ten*
07) Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
06) Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik
05) U2 - The Joshua Tree*
04) Metallica - Metallica (better known as the Black album)*
03) Guns 'N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
02) Nirvana - Nevermind*
01) Alani Morissette - Jagged Little Pill*

Let me start by saying that I do not pretend to know a great deal about music. I am not the greatest judge of artistic ability or creative talent at really anything. However, I know when I personally like or dislike something. Please realize that all of the following commentary is purely my opinion. Also, since I am writing this at 4 AM it would make me happy if you did not point out any grammatical errors that may occur in the following.

22) Garbage - Garbage
Despite the joke-inducing name of both the band and their self-titled CD, I have really enjoyed what I have heard from this group. I love Shirley Manson's voice. It blends together beautifully with the music played by the rest of the group. My favorite Garbage song is "Only Happy When It Rains."

19) Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814
From what was said by the music "experts" they interviewed on the show, this is apparently the best CD ever put out by a Jackson. As I have never been a fan of any of the Jackson family, I am not in a position to comment on that. I am rather pleased that Micheal didn't make the list, however. I'm fairly certain that I would have loved the CD if it had been given to me back when I liked pop music.

17) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
I have heard a good deal of No Doubt's music and I believe that this CD contains the very best of it. "Don't Speak" is the most powerful song on the CD, in my opinion. I do not know why No Doubt decided to head into the "pop" direction with their latest projects, but I think it was a very bad decision on their part.

16) Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine is another band that I have never enjoyed. The cover of this CD pretty much sums up what the band seems to be about. They have powerful messages in their music, but I just do not like how they sound. If the music and the singing does not sound good to me, it is impossible for me to like the band.

15) TLC - CrazySexyCool
I once owned this CD. This was back when I enjoyed this type of music. I really enjoyed the song "Waterfall" and was given the CD as a gift. I think I would still enjoy this CD if I listened to it again today. TLC's sound has always been appealing to me for some reason.

10) Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory
In my opinion, this is the greatest CD I have ever heard. Words can not express how much I loved this CD. I had every single song memorized at one point. I was infuriated when I lost my copy of it. The songs flow together perfectly. The songs each spoke to me in a powerful way. I am extremely happy that it made it into the top ten of this list. I really want to get another copy of it.

09) Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
It is no secret that I hate Eminem's music with a fiery passion. Unfortunately, I do have to admit that this CD was a work of art as far as rap goes. The lyrics are quite powerful, despite the fact that I hate them. As much as I don't like to admit it, this CD does deserve a spot in the top ten of this list.

08) Pearl Jam - Ten
I had no idea that about a quarter of the songs on this CD were Pearl Jam songs. I found that out by watching this countdown. As I really like a number of the songs on this CD, I would really enjoy owning it.

04) Metallica - Metallica (The Black Album)
Why don't I own this CD? All of my favorite Metallica songs are on it.

01) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
This really surprised me. I would have expected a good number of CDs above this one. I once owned this CD, in fact, but somehow it was lost. I would like to get another copy of it because I still enjoy a number of the songs on it. I believe this is Alanis Morissette at her very best, but I have not heard a great deal of her newer material.

Posted by Randy at 04:09 AM | TrackBack

American Candidate

A serious post about music is in process. I'm currently gathering material concerning it. Don't worry. That will be explained.

Right now, however, I want you to go check out American Candidate.

"Coming on Showtime in Summer 2004, American Candidate is a ground-breaking television series in which the American people will identify a People's Candidate that they would like to see run for President of the United States. ... Over the course of 10 weeks, those 12 [contestants] will face-off against each other in a series of challenges designed to test their presidential mettle and to show viewers what really goes on in the making of a presidential candidate."

Great. We now have a political version of Survivor. If nothing else, it could be interesting. How does one test "presidential mettle" anyhow?

Posted by Randy at 03:02 AM | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

Political Poll

My house was just called by some polling place. As I am currently the only person home, I got to answer all the questions.


I must say there were some interesting questions.

For example:

Who is the better leader, George W. Bush or John Kerry?
Do you think America's best days are in the past or in the future?
Do you think that America should do more of what its allies want, or should America's allies do more of what America wants?

Unfortunately, either-or answers aren't going to give my real opinion for any of those questions. I still had fun, though.

Posted by Randy at 06:51 PM | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

S*P and Christian Culture

Once again, something positive presents an issue and an opinion I agree with greatly.

Basically, televangelists and the modern Christian culture are really degrading to Christianity as a whole.

Posted by Randy at 10:30 PM | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Away Message Fun

Checking three separate AOL "Buddy Profiles," I constructed the following from the away messages:

"Wandering...with anna...out and about, wreaking havoc. Again."

Interesting group of friends I have.

Posted by Randy at 11:47 PM | TrackBack

April 24, 2004

Number Quiz

Normally, I see one of these things on someone's blog, take the quiz, and don't post the results. Most of the time these quizzes aren't worth taking and give idiotically predictable results.

This one shocked me, though. It's a bit creepy. I like to think of myself in a lot of the following terms.

Seven is sometimes considered as a mystical and
magical number because of the biblical seven
days of creation, and the seven heavenly bodies
of ancient astronomy (i.e. The Sun, Moon,
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter; they
hadn't seen the others yet). You are
understanding, perceptive and bright, and enjoy
hard work and challenges. You are often
serious, scholarly, and interested in all
things mysterious. Originality and imagination
are more important to you than money and
material possessions. However, you can also be
pessimistic, sarcastic, and insecure.

What does your name and arithmacy say about you? (some simple knowledge of adding is required on your part)
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Randy at 08:40 PM | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

The Gender Genie!

Blatantly stealing this idea from the Thinklings website, I made my way towards the gender genie page and decided to see what happened when I put a few of my friends' longer posts through the algorithm.

The posts I selected were random posts which I estimated at approximately 500 words or more. I didn't keep track of the actual posts I used, but I did select at least two posts from each person's blog. I found the results rather interesting.

The algorithm accurately selected my roommate, the Cynic, Wilson, and me as male authors. It also accurately selected Ardith as a female author. My roommate and I seem to be predominately male writers. The Cynic also ranked high on the male side, but not nearly as high as I did. Wilson was much nearer to attaining a neutral score. Ardith also earned a more neutral score.

Wheeler's posts seem to be more female. Anna's and Katy's posts seem to more male. I would not have predicted that result for either of them.

I was unable to find a decent sized post by Moore to run through the program.

It's a very interesting program...

Posted by Randy at 12:15 AM | TrackBack

April 16, 2004

New Presidential Candidate

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

It is my absolute honor to introduce a new candidate for the office of the President of the United States of America. This candidate truly has the answer to all of the problems that our world currently faces. This Elder One's answers may appear to be controversial, but no one has been able to prove that they would be ineffective.

Allow me to introduce:


With all of the ruthless campaigning and hypocrisy presented by the other candidates and their supporters, both George Bush and John Kerry have shown that they are not fit for the job.

Vote Cthulhu for 2004! Why settle for a lesser evil?

Posted by Randy at 02:40 PM | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Chopping Block

Are you sadistic? Do you find jokes about serial killers funny? Do you have an extremely dark sense of humor?

If you said "yes" to any of those questions, I have the perfect webcomic for you!

Chopping Block

I must give out the following warnings for legal reasons:

We at Tranquil Madness hold no responsibility for anyone following that link. We can not be held liable for any ideas the comic may put into anyone's brain. The reading of the comic may cause laughter, disgust, remorse, pity, spontaneous combustion, and/or death.

Posted by Randy at 06:10 PM | TrackBack

April 14, 2004

Blog Remodelling

If you stumbled across this site in the last hour or so, you might have noticed some rather strange color combinations. If so, I apologize.

With the help of Wilson and my roommate, I redesigned the color scheme of this blog. I rather like the end result. The colors are not annoyingly cheerful, but they are not depressingly gloomy either.

At some point I will work on changing the colors inside the comment and trackback boxes in order to make them match the rest of the site. I also would like to change my archive and category pages so that they do not reach across the entire page. Until I have time, however, you will simply have to suffer.

Posted by Randy at 01:43 AM | TrackBack

April 05, 2004

S*P & Babies

I just have to link this comic before the Cynic gets to it. If you have visited something positive before, you know what to expect. If not, be warned that this is a very dark comic. The easily offended should not follow the links.

In case you don't know this, I am not a fan of little children. In fact, I can't stand them most of the time. Naturally, this means that they like me. If anyone can explain this to me, I'd love to hear it.

Posted by Randy at 09:53 PM | TrackBack

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

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

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 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


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 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 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="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid

Posted by Randy at 11:53 AM | TrackBack

February 29, 2004

Leap Year

It would be so cool to have been born on February 29. I still think that 08/04/84 is a good date, too.

Anyway, I just wrote this to have something written on the twenty-ninth.

Sorry to have wasted your time.

Posted by Randy at 07:26 PM | TrackBack

February 12, 2004


Wow. This is truly an interesting couple.

So, the husband found out that his wife was cheating on him by going to a smut website? I wonder which started first.

And speaking of interesting, here is a fun little game where you have to decide if a title is from a Jack Chick Tract or a Dirty Movie!

Posted by Randy at 05:41 PM

February 03, 2004

Star Trek

After a rather interesting discussion of the quality of the Star Trek genre tonight at dinner, my roommate and I have compiled the following list. Please check his blog for the complete story of the events.
Please feel free to add to the list.

Excellent Ways to Irritate a Trekkie:

"Oh yeah, I know Star Trek. That's the movie with the little green dude, right?"

"You know that chick with the telepathy? Wasn't she the princess of a planet that was destroyed?"

"I couldn't believe when they froze Spock in that carbonate stuff!"

"Remember the episode with the wookie?"

"I loved the ships in that series! The TIE Fighters and X-Wings were gorgeous."

"William Shatner was a horrible actor!"

"Captain Kirk was the worst Jedi ever! All he ever did was make attractive women go insane long enough to sleep with him."

Posted by Randy at 05:51 PM

February 01, 2004

Quizzes Again

Test #1 told me nothing new. I've suspected I was paranoid for quite some time now.

Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Schizoid |||||| 30%
Schizotypal |||||||||||| 46%
Antisocial |||||||||||| 42%
Borderline |||||||||||| 42%
Histrionic |||||||||| 38%
Narcissistic |||||||||||||| 58%
Avoidant |||||||||||||| 54%
Dependent |||||||||||| 42%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||| 34%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test

Test #2 gave me an answer which surprised me.

What Famous Leader Are You?

Test #3 just shocked the hell out of me. I mean, who would watch this movie and think of me?

What Classic Movie Are You?
Posted by Randy at 11:16 PM

January 18, 2004

Manli Wang!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am proud to present to all of you the international speed skating celebrity,

Miss Manli Wang!

And anyone who reads Penny Arcade will understand why I found ABC's speed skating commentators remarks hilarious.

"Manli Wang has a lot of potential."

Posted by Randy at 02:29 PM

December 27, 2003

Rusty Teeth?


So, after you brush your teeth, if half of what you spit out is brown colored, you are drinking way too much damn Dr. Pepper. If this happens, you should probably cut back before your body shuts down on you.

Just thought I'd give everyone that advice.

Posted by Randy at 04:07 AM

December 23, 2003

Change is Good, Apparently

In case you haven't heard, McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are now made with white meat. Isn't that exciting? According to the commercials, change is good.

Posted by Randy at 03:26 PM

December 12, 2003

Mind Quiz

Yet another quiz. This one was quite interesting. I'm not entirely sure I completely agree with my results.

Your Brain Usage Profile

Auditory : 44%
Visual : 55%
Left : 42%
Right : 57%

simsfreak01, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.

Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.

You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.

In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."

All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.

You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.

It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.

Posted by Randy at 02:38 AM

December 11, 2003


Yes, I did just take another pointless quiz. I have to share the results, though.

Congratulations! You're Merry!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I couldn't help smiling when I saw this. Especially after thinking about some of the conversations I have had today.

Posted by Randy at 06:06 PM

December 08, 2003


I've been meaning to link The Limey Brit for quite some time now. I have been checking his blog regularly for quite some time now, but I have to be motivated quite a bit to brave the horrors of my template. I finally decided to get off my lazy butt and do it.

Finals are almost half-finished for me. Only three of them left now. I've got one tonight and two tomorrow. I feel sorry for all the poor people who have four finals tomorrow.

Posted by Randy at 02:39 PM

November 22, 2003


I have been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Specifically, what is it? How is it defined?

There are many definitions of friendship. Some people only consider a person a "friend" when they are close enough to tell that person anything on their mind. A "friend" in this sense is also someone who is called in times of need. Others would consider a person a friend after talking with them a few times. Still others have a constantly changing definition of the word.

If you consider the first definition to be true, I have probably had ten real friends my entire life. If you consider the second definition to be true, I think the number would increase to about a hundred or so people (Please remember that I'm from a small town. I'm not anti-social).

But, when one is trying to determine who his or her friends are, is his or her own opinions enough? If a person considers someone a good friend, but they think the person is simply someone that they know, are the two friends?

How is a friendship formed? I don't believe that a couple of common interests are enough to start a friendship. They may introduce you to new people, but I don't think friendship begins with an interest in something. Is it a combination of personalities that cause both individuals to value the time they spend together, or is there just something in each person's brain that tells us when we have met a potential friend? I don't know.

When a friendship is formed, what responsibilities does that add to each person? People have said that friends should be loyal to each other, but what does that really mean? Does that simply mean they should support each other, or does it go much deeper? If it does, how much deeper does it go? Loyalty can be taken to mean two very different things to different people.

One thing I have a hard time giving people is trust. Partially the fault of my father (an amusing anecdote and my earliest memory, maybe I'll tell it another time), I have developed a problem trusting anyone. It takes a large amount of time for people to earn my trust. I believe, however, that trust is very important in any friendship. I think that this might be part of the reason I'm not very "approachable." When people come to me with problems, I don't start by giving them any form of sympathy. Instead, I wonder how they plan on trying to use me to solve their problem(s).

Honesty is another "responsibility" one takes when a friendship is formed. I strongly believe that friends shouldn't lie to each other. I have had very little experience being lied to by those I consider my closer friends, but I know that I have been guilty of little white lies occasionally. Do these little lies really matter that much? What does it say about the person gives them and the strength of his or her friendships?

Well, it's almost 4 AM and I'm rambling. I'm going to sleep. If anyone has any strong opinions, or even any small comments, feel free to leave them.

Posted by Randy at 03:54 AM

November 10, 2003


Once again, I am a lowly quiz-taking sheep.


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A stern yet benevolent organizer who often knows best, your wits are keenly fixed on aiding efforts you deem worthy.

Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril to Mordor.

Posted by Randy at 06:49 PM

October 25, 2003

Movie Stuff

There have been several "almost-posts" on this thing before this one. I have had great ideas for beautiful and awe-inspiring works of blogging literature, but I did not come and write them out and they quickly left my memory. I will continure to mourn the loss of these masterpieces, but for now I must move on with my life.

[written on October 11, 2003 about Kill Bill: Vol. 1]
"A lot of people will hate this movie. The reasons will be obvious once you see it."

Well, my roommate has finally seen the movie. He hates it. For reasons that are obvious if you have seen the movie. He has claimed to respect how the plot was done and how the movie was written. Apparently, he despises everything else about it.

I, however, still enjoy the movie. I also know that I am not the only person who enjoyed it. Is the movie one of the greatest I've seen? Absolutely not. Would I watch this movie with or recommend this movie to just anyone? Not a chance in hell. Would I watch it whenever I wanted to be entertained for a couple of hours and have a few good laughs? Yes. I don't care what anybody else thinks about it. To me, Kill Bill is a fun movie to watch.

I am also now the proud owner of a widescreen version of 28 Days Later. If you have not seen this movie yet and you enjoy watching horror movies, go and watch this movie now. It is fantastic example of how horror movies are supposed to be made.

Posted by Randy at 07:46 PM

October 10, 2003


Well, since practically everyone else seems to be taking this quiz, here are my results:

Posted by Randy at 03:07 PM

October 09, 2003


Why yes, this is how I feel about nature.

I've discovered that Sinfest is an awesome comic strip. Unless, of course, you are easily offended and think that religion (read: Christianity) shouldn't be mocked. There is more there, however, than just jokes about religious nuts and God. The comic above is one example. There are others. However, there are also a lot of lewd comics.

To summarize, if you are a person who can take a joke that has something lewd in it, Sinfest is an awesome comic. If not, I'd advise not going there.

Posted by Randy at 08:55 PM

August 09, 2003



I found this hilarious. I'm starting to wonder just how much of a sadist I really am.

Then there is this one. It reminds me of too many people I know from high school.

Ctrl+Alt+Del also shares my views on dial-up connections. See early comic in the archives to find out about those.

Posted by Randy at 01:07 PM

August 05, 2003

More Fred On Everything

The more columns I read from Fred on Everything the more I am liking this Fred guy.

A few things I would like to point out:

(For the Cynic)
Feminist Tarantulas
Feminist and Hysteria

(For Wilson)
Reporters Errant
Disordered Thoughts of a New Web Journalist

(For Anna and the Cynic)
Teacheresses vs. Male Children (very much not-PC)

(For everyone who will EVER have a kid)
Why Johnny Cant Rede

(Interesting Article about the Military)
Don't Enlist

And that is all for now.

Posted by Randy at 01:05 PM

August 03, 2003


I Hate Flags.

And before anybody leaves a message calling me unpatriotic, I have a disclaimer. I don't agree with everything said in the article, but I do agree with a lot of it. Besides, I have been called unpatriotic by many people, so if you can't come up with something original just don't even bother with an insulting comment.

Posted by Randy at 01:35 AM

Spiders Everywhere

Remember that spider-inspired masterpiece I wrote a few weeks ago?

I had the misfortune of meeting him again tonight. I was reading a book while my feet were resting on the legs of a computer chair and I felt something brush underneath my foot. I looked down and saw the spider running under my bed. I felt myself turn pale and I put both of my feet on top of the chair, even though I knew the eight-legged bastard was underneath my bed.

That would have been bad enough had I not seen a spider large enough to be that spider's younger brother slowly crawling on the bathroom ceiling earlier today. I also unintentionally killed two small spiders while cleaning my air conditioning filter. Now I am going to be in fear of these spiders until I move back to LU.

I do not like living in a house overrun by spiders.

Posted by Randy at 12:21 AM

July 29, 2003


I still don't understand how anyone can not like S*P. This comic is really funny to me for some reason.

Posted by Randy at 01:24 AM


I am back with another example of my changing musical taste.

I recently purchased Korn's newest CD Untouchables. Now, I was never a big fan of Korn. I remember hating the song "Freak on a Leash" (which I now like) and not liking whatever CD held that song. I would like to listen to that CD again now just to see if I still don't like that album or if I was just in a different musical phase.

Anyway, I bought the album because I had heard two of Korn's songs on the radio and I liked both of them ("Here to Stay" and "Thoughtless"). I found two more songs which were absolutely incredible ("Hollow Life" and "Alone I Break"), and, strangely enough, they are absolutely nothing like the first two I mentioned. There are also a few songs I really don't like ("Make Believe" and a couple other songs I can't remember the names of). I'm fairly neutral about the other seven songs on the CD, though.

Also, I think everyone should watch the music videos for "Here to Stay" and "Thoughtless," even if you have to do it with the sound turned off (although, I would suggest at least trying to catch the lyrics). Both are slightly disturbing, a little bit gross at parts, and teeming with social commentary.

Posted by Randy at 12:19 AM

July 25, 2003

Big Brother

I have a confession that I need to make. Now, this may lower the respect you have for my opinions on certain things, but please reserve any judgement until you read everything I have to say.

I love the reality game Big Brother. I believe that it is the best reality television game out there today (which I realize doesn't say much to a large number of people).

I don't really like most of the contestants in the game, but I absolutely love the way the game is played. For those of you who don't know (probably most of you), there are thirteen contestants competing for $500,000. There is a competition each week for the Head of Household position. The Head then nominates two other contestants and the rest of the house chooses which of the two get kicked out of the game. There is also another competition in which the winner gets the ability to cancel the nomination of one person, causing the Head to nominate a different contestant.

The amount of strategy a person must use in this game in order to win is phenomenal. Relationships with the other contestants change every single day which in turn causes each person's strategy and game-plan to change. Food and luxury competitions cause jealousy and rifts in relationships. Enemies and friends are made with each competition and it is virtually impossible to select a winner before the game starts. Manipulation and lies are beneath every friendship in the game. The winner is the person who can manipulate, lie, and backstab, but not piss off the seven contestants kicked off last who vote on who wins.

Why do I like a game which appears to be another Survivor rip-off? Because I would love to get a chance to play a game like this.

I like this game more than Survivor because it focuses more on the building and breaking of relationships inside the game. It is also a "live" game, so it isn't as fake as Survivor has become. The sections which air on television have been edited in order to make it interesting, of course, but you can purchase access to 24/7 live feeds.

So, I admit that I do like some reality television. Am I alone in this confession?

Posted by Randy at 08:30 PM

July 17, 2003


An original poem by me composed at 2:45 AM.


An eight-legged monster
Scares the crap out of me,
I do hate this fear,
Arachnaphobia, you see.

The distinct quiet crawl
And the slow noiseless slink
Causes terror unfathomable
To many strange minds, I think.

Both the creation of web
And the careful, constant creep
Causes ceaseless panic
And the desire to weep.

From me it stays hidden,
But I do know it's there,
Just hiding and waiting
To time the next scare.

If ever I see it panic
And freeze in it's fright,
I'll stomp the damn bastard
And get some good sleep one night.

Posted by Randy at 03:09 AM

July 14, 2003

Dead Like Me

So I've been posting a lot lately. What's your point?

I just wanted to tell everyone that if they haven't seen or heard of Showtime's series Dead Like Me you are missing out on something I find incredibly funny. The show has a dark sense of humor I greatly enjoy and would recommend watching it to anyone who enjoys the same. I am hoping to find several episodes when I return to LeTourneau.

Posted by Randy at 01:58 AM

July 13, 2003

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

I just know that one day that creativity is going to hit me and I will go and make a quiz of my own. Until then, please enjoy the one below:

You are a vegetable.
You are a vegetable.

You are senseless, stationary, and autotrophic.

You probably like sunlight and water; it is
wonderful people like you that keep Miami Beach
in business. Unfortunately, not being able to
move more than a few inches unassisted, you
probably cannot get to Miami Beach. If you are
lucky, though, you may be able to contribute to
your local economy by providing food for the
animals. Everyone respects you for your great
humility. That is to say, no one notices you.

The Ultimate 10-Question Quiz to Determine Whether You Are Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Randy at 07:09 PM

July 12, 2003


Please do the following:

1. Go to Google.
2. Type in "Weapons of Mass Destruction"
3. Click "I'm Feeling Lucky!"
4. Read carefully and enjoy.

Posted by Randy at 10:34 PM

June 22, 2003

Fred On Everything

Busy week. I won't bore you with the details about it, but I will bore you with something else instead. I came across this article at Joke A Day and discovered it came originally from Fred On Everything. I found it interesting because it partially reflects several of my views on the rabid "patriotism" of some people I have encountered.

Click below to read it.

Heinz, Adolph, and Poland

Why Johnny Fights

In my daily snowstorm of email I find furious appeals to patriotism, usually addressed to large lists of recipients. The writers invoke The Founding Fathers, urge fealty, and counsel solidarity with all the whoop and holler of a camp meeting. I'm puzzled. Why is patriotism thought to be a virtue? It seems to me a scourge.

Judging by my mail, patriotism has little to do with a fondness for one's country. Yes, many Americans like America. They reflect affectionately on Arizona's painted deserts and the wooded hollows of Tennessee, on the music of Appalachia and New Orleans, the rude vigor and brashness of a remarkable people, the rich accents of Brooklyn and Mississippi, all the things that give a sense of home and attachment in a large world. But they do not want blood. They speak quietly. Apparently they are not patriots. They do not use the word.

The email patriots are different. They growl and threaten, and seem less to appreciate their country than to hate others. They remind me of nothing so much as bar-room drunks looking for a fight. Their letters seethe with bitterness and begin with denunciations of liberals and the communist media (by which they mean any that fail to agree with them). They don't eat French fries. They hate. They would make, and in fact did make, excellent Nazis.

The difference between patriotism and love of country seems to be the difference between an inward-looking fondness and an outward-looking hostility. The email patriots regard any disagreement as treachery and softness. To doubt the wisdom or necessity of a war, any war, is treason; any inclination to think for oneself is evidence of being in the enemy's camp.

This is everywhere the rule. There were Japanese who thought that attacking the United States was not a conspicuously bright idea. They were squelched by patriots. GIs loved duty in Tokyo.

Malignant patriotism explains the attack, by a large heavily armed industrial power, against a weak and bedraggled nation so helpless as to be conquered in weeks. I refer of course to the Nazi assault on Poland. The Wehrmacht, like the Imperial Japanese Army, was awash in patriotism. It is in large part why they fought so well. No emotion is more usefully manipulable by governments with misbehavior in mind.

The connections among patriotism, military service, Christianity, and morality are tangled and fascinating. The first two appear to me to be incompatible with the second two. Consider Heinz, a German youth joining his armed forces in, say, 1937. Enlisting was then, as now, a patriotic thing to do. Heinz was probably a decent sort. Most people are. He probably had little interest in Poland, a minor creation which posed no threat to Germany. He liked beer and girls.

Then, come September of 1939, he found himself butchering Poles. The war had nothing to do with defense. The German attack was savage, unprovoked, and murderous. And why was Heinz killing people he didn't know? Because his government told him it was his patriotic duty. Which is to say that being in the Wehrmacht meant forfeiting moral independence to a dark squatty effeminate Aryan blond superman. Oh good.

It is curious. If Heinz had decided to kill Poles as a free-lance, he would have been called a mass-murderer, hanged, and had a movie made about him. If as a soldier he had decided not to kill Poles, having no reason to kill them, he might have been shot as a mutineer. But when he killed them unreflectingly because he had been told to, he became a minor national hero and and, if extraordinarily effective in the killing, received a medal.

Fortunately for Adolph, refusals on moral grounds to kill the enemy, any enemy, are rare. In human affairs, morality is more than window-dressing, but not much more. Lust, hormones, and the pack instinct take easy precedence. Thus armies seldom say en masse, "No. We think it the wrong thing to do."

When the war goes badly, patriotism becomes compulsory. Heinz, driving toward Stalingrad, did not have the choice of changing his mind. Deserters tend to be shot. Enormous moral suasion serves to quell reluctance to die. Going against the herd is unpleasant. Governments understand this well.

Patriotism often needs propping, and gets it. Conscription serves to make fight those who otherwise wouldn't. (The ancient Persians used whips to force unwilling soldiers to go forward. Firing squads work as well, and do not tire the arm.) Societies punish draft-dodgers, except in the case of Republican presidents, and revile conscientious objectors as cowards, traitors, and homosexuals. Deserters particularly suffer heavy punishment, because if soldiers in a long nasty war could escape without penalty, most would.

Heinz, being German, was probably a Christian. Soldiers often believe themselves to be Christians. There is remarkably little in the New Testament to encourage aggressive slaughter, yet Christian countries have regularly attacked everybody within reach. (So of course have most other countries.)

Heinz cannot serve two masters. Either he puts the authority of religion above that of government, or he kills anyone he is told to kill. As a rule he compartmentalizes, accepts official justifications, and obeys.

Why does a coalition of Christian nations send troops at great expense to the Middle East to attack a Moslem nation offering no threat? I refer of course to the Crusades. The answer is simple: Humankind has a profound instinct to form warring groups. Crips and Bloods, Redskins and Cowboys, Catholics and Protestants, liberals and conservatives. Because a thin veneer of reason floats like pond scum on our instincts, we invent tolerable rationalizations: We must take the Holy Lands from the infidels. God says so.

In Chicago, young males form nations, which they call by such names as the Vice Lords, the P Stones, the Black Gangster Disciples. They have ministers, pomp and circumstance, hierarchy, and intense loyalty to the gang. They wear uniforms of sorts-hats with bills pointed to the left or right, chosen colors-and they fight for turf, which is empire measured in blocks. The gangs of Chicago are international relations writ small.

Patriotism is most dangerous when mixed with religion. Both give high purpose to low behavior. Worst are the fundamentalists, the Ayatollahs and born-agains, the various Christian Wahabis and Islamic Cromwells. A fundamentalist believes that any idea wandering into his mind comes from On High. Actually he is making it up. He confuses himself with God, which is not a good thing when he is a bit loony to begin with. Fundamentalists usually are.

Usually wrong, but unfamiliar with doubt. I can't think of a better ground for policy.

Posted by Randy at 02:21 PM

June 03, 2003

Easier to Run

Easier to Run by Linkin Park

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken
From deep inside of me
A secret I've kep locked away
No one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show
They never go away
Like moving pictures in my head
For years and years they've played

If I could change I would
Take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could
Stand up and take the blame I would
I I could take all the shame to the grave I would

Sometimes I remember
The darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories
I wish I didn't have
Sometimes I think of letting go
And never looking back
And never moving forward so
There would never be a past

Just washing it aside
All of the helplessness inside
Pretending I don't feel misplaced
Is so much simpler than change

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

This is a song from Linkin Park's new CD Meteora. After listening to this album several times, a few songs stuck in my mind. This was one of them.

I didn't really understand everything it said until I read the lyrics to it. This song hit me in a way that I never thought a song could. It describes something I have been experiencing in my life recently which, like always, has came back into my life while at home. I have tried to change this part of me (I am determined that it is only a part of my mind that can and will change) and thought I have succeeded at some times. However, I have weak moments--a significantly larger number than at LeTourneau, it seems.

I suppose that everyone has their own "dark" secrets which they don't want anybody to know. None of you know how large a step it is for me to even be writing so ambiguously about it as I am now. I wasn't going to until I listened to the song again and felt compelled to get this out of my system. Maybe someday I will be able to talk about this part of me with people openly. However, for better or worse, right now it is between me and God.

Posted by Randy at 12:12 AM

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 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

April 21, 2003

Link Updates

Well, upon discovery that uploading a photo would mean upgrading my blog service (unless I made a website to upload the photo from), I have decided instead to just put a message on the top of all the links to the left. Maybe I will eventually discover how to make that section a little wider and make it look a little better. Until then, that will just have to do.

About my new link, Katy is a friend of mine from my high school who is coming here to LU this next semester. Her sister is going here now. She is a happy person, so if you are very cynical you probably won't enjoy her somewhat randomness.

I am going to once again warn any readers I may have about the something positive link. It is a very twisted, sick, and dark humor comic site. It is often lewd and violent, but some of the strips are extremely funny. If you are offended easily by sexual references, don't go there.

As far as any more template updates, I am going to try to get a message board, but I need help with it. I am amazed I have been able to do what I have done.

Chapel today was the awards chapel. It was extremely boring, but was made enjoyable by laughing at the professors and some of the students who got the awards. Before you start thinking it, I am not jealous of those who got the awards. First of all, it was mostly seniors and juniors anyway since the awards were designed for them. I knew several of the people who got the awards, so I have the priviledge of laughing at them. Congratulations on winning that scholarship Anna!

Posted by Randy at 12:26 PM