You know the situation. You're looking at a choice that no matter which way you choose (or which outcome you work towards) it's going to suck. So then it's just a matter of the lesser of two evils.
And then there's its cursed cousin... the lose-lose epiphany. Essentially, you're fighting against an outcome because you know it's going to unpleasant at best. And then all of a sudden the tables turn and you realize that the other outcome that you're fighting towards is going to be even worse. It's even worse than the loaded question with no right answer, it's the loaded problem with no good solution.
So the question is, what do you do when the epiphany hits? Do you just stop? Do you throw one or two more punches because it's hard to give up on something that you've been working for? Or do you just take your marbles, go home, and pray to God that someone's in the market for those damned marbles so you can try to take what little money you can get and run.
In an apparent effort to help me make up for lost time and lost warped links, Wheeler is digging up all sorts of random and warped things. First we have this story of a British man breaking into an animal shelter, armed with a rifle, a katana, lighter fluid and a hammer in an attempt to break his dog out.
So yeah... I was just given link to a story about a guy who apparently ripped off his own testicles. If he actually did that, he didn't deserve them in the first place.
Speaking of great shame, here's another good news article that the Guatemalan passed along to me. In this guy's shoes, I probably would have committed suicide too.
Speaking of cool things found on the internet, my little brother found me this online mirror of ESPN's Images of Our Century. Good stuff for anyone who enjoys sports.
So many of you might have been wondering where exactly I went off to. Or probably not... but since we're sustaining the illusion that you actually wondered and since this really is my blog and we're perpetuating the illusion that you are all truly interested in what's going on in my life, I'll tell you anyways.
First, my film class ended on Tuesday evening. The problem was that Wheeler and I had been putting off some of the work until the end of the class. The bigger problem was that the work we'd been putting off turned out to be the most mind-numbing and time-consuming portion of it. So yeah... that sucked.
Beyond that, as you might have noticed from my growing film list, I've kind of been doing the whole movie-watching thing.
What's been taking up my day hours, you ask? Well... I kind of rediscovered a Windows port of an old classic. So... there you have it. Between that and doing a good chunk of reading, I really haven't had many free hours.
So... apparently I got an 'A' in film. That rocks. I got to go to class, gain new critical perspective on watching film, watch movies, and raise the ol' GPA. I need to take more Watson classes like that.
So the problem about putting work off to the last minute is the doing all of the work in the last minute.
So yeah... the A/C finally works and I'm ecstatic. Maybe I can finally sleep in my own bed in comfort.
To be fair, it was a sequel to a fairly successful movie and it would be unfair to expect a parallel performance to the original. Of course, this is why I usually avoid sequels, because sequels tend to suck. But I got suckered in by good reviews and my friends (I'm not going to blame Wheeler as he was as much dragged as I was) and went and bore witness to another testament to the failure of sequels.
Detractors will say that the plot was cute. I will counter that there was no plot and that the entire movie consisted of pointless action with a thinly-veiled purpose of providing a springboard for a series of gags, most of which seemed forced and like the writers were trying much too hard to be amusing. The endless gay jokes were annoying, the transvestite step-sister wasn't funny, and persistant cultural references were banal and pointless. Let's face it, there were a lot of funny lines and interesting gags, but they were outweighed by a brazen overall sense that the spirit of George Lucas was in our midst somewhere with his quintessential corporate whoredom.
So yeah... the ending might have been considered cute if it weren't so obnoxiously cliched. Combined with the obnoxious music video tribute to American pop culture, and I was left wanting something more... something better.
Because LeTourneau hates me, they sent my grades home instead of letting me have them here. Thus, my mom is redirecting them for me after opening them and getting them for me at my request. Oddly enough, I made a better GPA for the semester than I was figuring in a completely different way than I expected. I still don't know why I didn't get an 'A' in Stats or Operating Systems... but then again, I also don't know why I got a 'B' in Programming Languages and Computer Theory, as opposed to a 'C' and a 'D' respectively. So all in all, I think I came out better on the whole. Oh yeah... and I got an 'A' in Prophets, so that's cool.
I had forgotten that consistently getting out of bed before 8 am hurts like crazy. I am tired... to bed with me.
I've held off on commenting on the War in Iraq at any length for quite some time due to a general personal conflict as to the nature and necessity. The fact of the matter is this: I don't believe that the war was justified nor do I believe that our haste in initiating the conflict to invade a sovereign nation was proper or wise.
There are two typical justifications for the war by those who advocated it:
1) Human Rights
As to the first argument, I find this to be largely inconsistent and hypocritical. Who are we to dictate Human Rights policy to the world and then selectively enforce it? If we are going to dictate policy or even enforce policy, it must be done thoroughly, honestly, and consistently. That means that we don't invade Iraq and wag our fingers at China and just wink at Russia. In short, I find this rationale to be reactionary and inconsistent.
As to the argument of weapons of mass destruction, I will allow that this could have been a justified reason to invade Iraq. That said, I am puzzled and disturbed by our haste to rush into Iraq. Here was a situation that had sat at a virtual stand-still for 11 years... and all of a sudden there was a pressing need to invade? I honestly hope for intelligence information some day to justify this sudden press into Iraq... but truth be told, I'm not holding my breath.
Aside from looking into the reasoning for invading Iraq, there is now the problem of enforcing peace in Iraq. The fact of the matter is that we are using a military force whose training lies in confronting problems with lethal force as a police brigade. While this doesn't justify or condone the resulting dilemmas that have cropped up in Iraq, it also goes to show that in the headlong rush into Iraq, someone should have been thinking harder about the peacekeeping to follow and the military isn't totally to blame.
As to those who say that the United States has unfairly and unjustly offended its allies, I must generally disagree. Granted, while US policy in Iraq has tended to alienate some allies, I would suggest that this conflict simply serves to highlight the tensions of modern global politics. The United States has not seen eye-to-eye with most of Europe in quite some time, and any allegations of financial opportunism leveled against the US by EU member-states are hypocritical and tinged in jealousy. In short, the relationship between the US and EU members is being re-defined and there is considerable penis envy on the part of EU members and a noticeable lack of consideration for the EU on the part of the US.
Finally, to those whose only comment on the conflict in Iraq is that John Kerry would make a better choice for President, I find your reasoning questionable at best. While I am the first to admit that George W. Bush is a second-rate president who has made some poor choices, I will also point out that his domestic solutions have been effective and his leadership in crisis has been decisive. I would also note that voting against the current president and opting to replace him with a silent political spin-doctor seems foolish. Kerry has used his Congressional tenure to prove his tendency to waffle on just about any issue available and prove himself to be principled only in a lack of solid principles. While I dislike Bush much of the time, at least he's reliable.
So... in a mad attempt to conclude this mess, I guess I'll say this: I don't like Bush a lot of the time, but he has principles that I tend to agree with that he can be trusted to follow. Kerry is anything but principled and his main platform is anti-Bush, and I really would rather pick a president who can be relied upon to stick up for something. If I lived in a non-crucial state, I would vote for the Libertarian or Constitutional candidates... but I am a resident of Ohio and will be voting for Bush because it beats the alternative.
So Wheeler and I have been taking film class with Dr. Watson and have been enjoying some quality cinema. Today's particular piece was High Noon, which is not only a good Western, but is also allegorical of Hollywood during the HUAC Inquisition.
On the basis of the technical merits of High Noon and the quality acting, I would easily rate it among the best Westerns I have ever seen. But beyond that, there is the clever and insightful portrayal of the wholesale abuse of the Screen Actors' Guild by the House Un-American Activities Committee. You really ought to see the movie and read up on the background of the times... it's all quite fascinating.
So Wheeler and I went out to Pizza Hut for lunch as it is one of the better places to get a good cheap buffet without little kids running around. Sadly, the place typically has FOX News dialed in and I'm forced to watch/listen to that trash while I digest. I've not yet decided if I prefer the little rugrats at Cici's.
But I digress... so we were at Pizza Hut and eating as we watched the aforementioned news station, particularly Dayside with Linda Vester. Now for those of you not familiar, of all of FOX News' distinguished crew, I'm pretty sure Linda Vester is the stupidest. She rarely has anything unique or original to say, even in breaking news... and more often than not is just plain wrong. So we watched with the typical pain accompanying this sort of torture and ate our pizza and attempted to distract ourselves from the TV.
And then she announced the next segment as a discussion of the US discouraging athletes from displays of patriotism at the 2004 Olympic Games Athens. So Wheeler and I looked up intrigued and sat glued to the set and diligently awaited the coming discussion. What a let-down...
First let me tell you that the fact that I cannot find a newsprint basis for this discussion anywhere on FOX News' website tells me something about the nature of the discussion from the get-go. Linda Vester was bored and decided to make a story, and an anti-patriotic discussion of the American flag seemed to appeal. To that end, she had called in the senior government liason to the US Olympic Team and Mike Gallagher (an idiotic conservative talking head.)
The US Olympic Official made very clear that Vester's summation of the conflict was fallacious and incorrect. He went on to clarify that the main concern being expressed by the US Olympic Committee was the ensurance of good sportsmanship and honorable treatment of the American Flag. He went on to clarify that there had never been an attempt to get American olympians to stop waving the flag or using it respectfully.
At this point, all Vester and Gallagher had were conflicting quotes that had been obviously ripped out of context. If I was the official, I would have told the pair to go to hell and hung up... but that's just me. In the end, all I really want to do is note that while CNN sucks, so does FOX News. I just wish there was one news outlet that didn't suck.
I stumbled upon this series of 3 essays written by disgruntled students at some school or another. All I have to say is these are some of the most hillarious essays I've ever read... especially the one about Walt Whitman. I also found this set of Peter Nguyen's essays (author of Walt Whitman) after doing some looking... truly bizarre.
Update: I have found Peter Nguyen's home on the internet where he has more of his stuff posted. I will warn you though, it's pretty messed up and I wouldn't go looking at the animations if I were you.
For those of you anxiously awaiting the death of Britney Spears, check here for a countdown to her projected death hour.
So yeah... Wheeler and I have been watching movies at a fairly rapid clip, many along with Anna. So we've decided to come up with a rating system and I'll be posting the updated list here every so often. Today's film was The Hunt for Red October, and it was enjoyed immensely by all. All I really have to say is that I agree with Wheeler that Alec Baldwin doesn't make a very good Jack Ryan.
"Last I heard, he had been stabbed." - Dr. Watson
When I go, I don't want to be bitten to death by a horse. For that matter, I don't want to have the OS crash on the boat that I'm in... leading to a crash of a more painful variety or some sort of critical weapons glitch.
Note: while the first link is a tad disturbed, the second isn't.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to get online so bad that you'd bash someone in the face with a fire extinguisher if they tried to stop you?
So yeah... I've been doing a lot of nothing and enjoying it immensely. I'll be working next week, but I'll be goofing off like crazy until then. Oh yeah... and Studies in American Film with Watson starts tomorrow. That should rock. Jared and I will keep you posted.
For the record:
The 7th day of every month is "I hate Texas" day.
The 9th day of every month is "I hate Longview" day.
The 10th day of every month is "Texans Can't Drive" day.
Please take note. I will be doing something special to commemorate each of these days as they come up as well as explaining why they are celebrated.
So yeah... to those of you who read this blog and are the mother (figuratively or literally) of some young brat (or older brat)... Happy Mothers' Day.
I guess I ought to also note that I have an awesome mom who is a saint and the only female in a house of obnoxious men. I love you mom!
It's been one of those days where you realize that you didn't do anything at all and then you realize how much you enjoyed it. I got up around noon and bummed around until about 1, at which point I endeavored to walk to Bodacious with Anna and Lily. We got about 3/4 of the way there when we realized that it was so crowded that the line extended out the front door and promptly turned, went back to the parking lot, got in Anna's car, and drove to Taco Bell.
The rest of the afternoon was marked by a brief visit to Dr. Watson, bumming in Corey's office as Anna counted money, bumming on MSC-1 with Anna and Ardith as we awaited Wilson and Wheeler, bidding Wilson farewell, sitting in the courtyard with Ardith and Anna whilst Wheeler talked on the phone and going to Walmart.
The trip to Walmart was allegedly an attempt to get fish drops for Anna's fishtank which quickly turned into Anna's little cupboard-stocking excursion... oh, and Ardith got an atlas so she doesn't get lost driving home and back. Fortunately, that all ended in a drive to Bruce's where we got dinner. Bruce's was advertised as the best root beer floats in Longview... and while we didn't actually get floats, they do have very good root beer in these giant glass steins that are probably at least a litre. They also have awesome burgers. In short, it was an epic experience that Moore would have enjoyed.
Give me a couple of hours and I'll have all sorts of fun. Special medical devices and Street Pac-Man are my two amusements of the day. The first is somewhat disturbing (but not really) and the second is just really odd, but family-friendly.
Yeah... the warped links are back. Here's a furry site that I really can't say that I recommend to the weak-minded among you.
FINALLY OVER!! You know how you reach that point where you just don't care any more any you just couldn't give a rat's ass, no matter what? Yeah... I just hit the point of no return about an hour ago. That program I was doing... yeah, I just kinda half-assed it. It works, but it's the ugliest slice of code I've written in quite some time. So now, I'm going to sit here in the labs and dream about stuff to do this summer. In the meanwhile: check out this paranoia-laden website about an Illuminati book.
So yeah... I still have nonsense to get done. Fortunately, in 24 hours it'll be done one way or another. Pray for all of those driving home.
Sorry... I just don't do well with work hanging over my head. It should all be over soon, but until then...
So when scheduling classes, attempt to line things up so that you won't have 3 finals on Wednesday and none on Monday. That really sucks.
My response to people goes something like this: you can say whatever you want about me, or to me... and you can even mess with me and push me around as long as you're willing to accept a likewise return, but don't mess with my stuff. Granted, I have been known to make exceptions to my own policy, but they are exceptionally rare and usually executed in retaliation and always with care for the property of others.
I don't know why I'm so protective of my stuff. Maybe it's because that's how my dad always was, or maybe it's just because for a very long time, there were few things that were just my own that I didn't have to share with my brothers. In any case, I have always felt an acute sense of responsibility and pride in my stuff. This especially extends to my computer. When people do silly little things to my computer like changing my desktop, I tend to get unreasonably upset. Granted, part of that is the fact that I'm angry at myself for not locking my computer... but most of it is just that it's mine, and it's my computer, so it's an extension of me. I don't know how it works, this is just more of a chance to note that I am proud that Anna is mature enough to handle good-natured teasing and at the same time noting that I'm not there yet and letting that serve as a warning.
In case you'd forgotten, I still keep an active log of all of the spammers I've banned, and I would encourage you to add names to that list. As soon as school lets out, I would like to implement the following:
1) We need to change our commenting script's address.
2) We need to install a program that checks the user webpage and email address against one of the spammer lists out there.
3) We need to organize strategic missile assaults on the 3rd-world countries where these spammers hide.
Yeah... this is more to remind myself than anyone else:
12:45 – 2:45 p.m Programming Languages
9:45 – 11:45 a.m. Operating Systems
12:45 – 2:45 p.m. Computer Theory
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Statistics
9:45 – 11:45 a.m. Prophets
Oh... and if you're like me and hadn't put much thought to exactly when your exams were and don't want to miss them, here's a link to the schedule.