PROMETHEUS

Jun. 14th, 2012 01:45 am
mercat: (Default)
OMG PROMETHEUS GO SEE PROMETHEUS. If you like Alien, go see Prometheus. If you find Alien to be too much of a horror movie, or not the right kind of science fiction for your palate, don't go see Prometheus.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SO MANY SPOILERS )

Babou!

Feb. 3rd, 2012 12:50 am
mercat: (Default)
So... my letter turned up at 21 pages. Holy christ.


Also, in rereading my post, I realized my internal monologue is pretty much exactly like a script for Archer. So if you're wondering how to read some of the commentary in my posts, just read it like one of those characters. I guess that's why I have come to love the show so much.

Diatribes

Feb. 2nd, 2012 09:40 pm
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I'm looking for some old posts of mine because I can't remember exactly when some things happened. This is what it's like getting old, apparently. (Fuuuuuuuck)

1) My oldest post tagged "religion" is about drum corps auditions (which I honestly didn't remember being for the 2007 season? but I guess so...) and "I think I'm through questioning faith". LOL OH WELL. Interesting to see how much my tone has changed in just a few years though, even my posts from 2008 can get kinda judgmental.

For that I apologize.

2) I have been working on a letter to my Mormon friend trying to explain my philosophical situation. I intended it to be just a letter... three hours later, it's 13 pages long and I'm not finished. Whoops. As a result and because I am the world's laziest chef, I am eating half a can of olives that are at least a week old and hopefully not spoiled by anything else in the fridge. BECAUSE THIS IS COLLEGE

By the way, Douche Flatmate has a now three-day dinner mess on the counter, it smells fucking awful. Unfortunately I now have to play the "confrontation and talk about it" game.

3) I forgot that LJ tags were a "new" thing only a few years ago. WHICH IS MAKING IT EVEN HARDER TO FIND MY OLD POSTS FROM HIGH SCHOOL NOOOOOOOOOOOO

4) I wish I journaled more but I'm also glad to see that I have so much written already. And that I've been LJing for how many years now? 7? 8? Jesus fuck. It seems like only a few years ago. I can, however, attribute much of my writing voice to journaling (in the form of blogging). Addressing an audience like you are friends, but like there is absolutely no one in the seats in the whole auditorium. Just an interesting note.

And now back to my search for personal journal entries from the pre-tagging days, so I can get back to this ages-long letter.

P.S. It's pretty obvious these days, I think, that I'm an atheist. So hopefully no one who is looking for a way to get me in trouble finds this. LUCKILY I think I've done an okay job of scrubbing this out of the main google search pages for me, and I need to go back and probably lock some old posts, and I probably should edit my friends list considering friends from 6 years ago can access my locked posts and absolutely zero of them post anymore (that certain group, I mean).

[EDIT] Holy shit I went and checked, it's so weird to see how little I posted the first couple of years. THERE IS SO MUCH INFORMATION I AM MISSING THAT I WANT TO KNOW. And that is why I journal. What was I thinking?! I don't know because I didn't write jack shit. And boy was my tone terrible, which, it's funny, I knew at the time, not that it was bad but that I hoped I could look back eventually and not hate myself and not want to hide or delete posts (which I'm not planning to, at least not for that reason), but geez, how things change. What's even worse? I know how much I changed from grade school to high school, and I don't really have a journal that covers that, either.

As the poster at my old hairdresser's used to say, "you've come a long way, kid."
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They got-slash-found Bin Laden, he's dead.

My entire facebook wall is going crazy. There's a lot of "AMERICA FUCK YEAH" and "DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD" and "THANK GOD THE EVIL BIN LADEN IS DEAD" and one Bob Barker joke (which I then stole).

But I just kinda feel like... really? Is this really significant as everyone my age seems to think it is? I pretty much thought he had curled up in a ball and died of kidney failure a few years ago just never to be found, I mean, it's not like we actually talk about Finding Bin Laden when we talk about America's Wars anymore. It's not like we're getting out of there any sooner, even though I wish that were the case so we can put some fucking money back into education and science and that kind of shit.

And maybe cut shit out with the TSA? That'd be nice. But that's also unrealistic.

Basically what I'm saying is that I'm not sure this warrants quite the party everyone's saying... Also all the "praise god he's dead" statuses are making me give people the serious side-eye. Like really, you're sooooo religious and yet you're excited for his death? Doesn't that make you... not any better than them wishing for ours? RELIGION: I DON'T GET YOU.

So anyway, this is the shit that happens while I'm trying to study for my 8 am exam tomorrow...

Although one of my sorority sisters JUST brought me an awesome bag full of candy and games for exams. Um, hell yes?!

posticles

Nov. 21st, 2010 10:10 pm
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I'm actually liking this daily challenge thing. Some days I'm a little busy to catch it in time, but for the most part, I'm actually making daily posts. :D SUCCESSFUL POSTING IS SUCCESSFUL.

Today's! My favorite subject to study... Man, I don't know. I love learning. I don't always love lectures, or homework, but I love the sense of accomplishment from understanding something, and the perspective you gain from it. I love love love reading. In case you couldn't tell from the fact that I probably spend a minimum of $50 every time I hit the bookstore... which is like once a month. And the fact that I spend sooooo much time online reading blogs. I LOVE INFORMATION. I think it's all one of the reasons I chose engineering--not just so I could get paid more for doing technical stuff (which I'm actually starting to think I might hate, as a job)-- but so I could have that background and understanding. Math and engineering and physics can be challenging, but once you understand it it's kind of amazing, the way you can see patterns. However, I'm not good at learning from proofs or methodologies; I sort of work from multiple examples, working my way through them to understand the subtle differences. This poses a problem wherein most engineering professors don't like to do tons upon tons of examples, I don't have the time to be in their office hours all day long, and the textbooks aren't much better (they usually just have one or two examples).

I like history, but I've found that challenging, too. I was fascinated by ancient history when I was really young-- Native American, Egyptian, Greek, Hawaiian (I remember checking lots of books on those topics out in gradeschool)--but I found learning American history out of a textbook difficult because our textbooks were written really poorly. This continued into high school where I already didn't have a great sense of world history, but I gleaned a little bit here and there except European History with the best history teacher I've ever had. He told events like stories, and would sort of reenact them with the help of his "time machine" (his closet), which often contained props like Napoleon's really cheap bendy plastic sword. He would often stop his storytelling at the MOST EXCITING PARTS, glance at his watch and tell us, "oh, looks like we're out of time!" There was one day, I believe, he was "out of time" with 20 or 30 minutes left in class. SO RIDICULOUS. But to this day I still remember the whole crazy story of Rasputin's death and the Russian royal family's deaths. And why everyone thought Rasputin really was a holy man (from either heaven or hell) by withstanding poison and being shot only to drown. (I think. He might have also survived drowning and then died of hypothermia or something...? Okay, wikipedia tells me he did die from drowning, but what I was forgetting was that he was beaten and secured before being thrown in the river, but then broke free of these bonds to then drown.) ANYWAY.

College history is a lot better, because we had a "World-War-II-In-One-Lecture-Using-Only-Battlefront-Maps-of-Europe" day, which gives just the kind of summary on the war that our crappy textbooks lacked that is kind of like a five-sentence-outline version of the politics of the time and let me start placing events within that timeline. Honestly, whoever wrote the textbooks we used in gradeschool and highschool needs to reevaluate their methods. The problem is, they told history like a bunch of individual stories, which makes it very difficult for someone with no overarching view to tie them together. There were basically no ways for me to string everything together into one timeline, at least, not well. BUT. Strangely, I got another good "summary" of globalization through Hawaiian and Pacific history, strangely enough--because it's essentially watching undiscovered lands mature into modern countries in less than two centuries. A century and a half, even. Not to mention, the Pacific was a significant part of WWII, which is a good education on the Japanese side of things rather than the standard Nazi/European focus.

I also like art, because it gives more relationships for history, and understanding the context of famous art pieces makes them a lot more meaningful. Although I now find Warhol annoying. I understand his intent but him, personally... he seemed kind of pretentious in his videos when we studied him. Like the forefather of Hipsters. (For srs.) Also, art history also makes you more prone to getting into discussions about the meaning and value of art (see: trivia night two weeks ago, haha!).

(For the record the argument was whether or not modern art is worthless. My position is that modern art is much more meaningful than other art because it is completely expressive at it is freed from the necessitation of replicating life exactly--that is, the invention of the camera and video, etc. allows for much more "creation" in art. The opposition was saying that this is pointless because you aren't simply looking at something, the art is in the emotion or the context, which isn't the art itself. SO. LET IT NOT BE SAID MY ART HISTORY MINOR WAS EVER COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.)

So! What have I covered so far? Math, physics, engineering, history, art... Music? Music is my-life-outside-of-design. I could do it as a career if it were the right thing. I miss marching and I don't know what I'm going to do without anymore marching band... ever. Although I am taking tap next semester, so, currently, dance is my closest-approximation-replacement. And tap is percussive, so it's closer than, say, ballet, which I can't watch anymore BECAUSE THE DANCERS DON'T MOVE NECESSARILY WITH THE MUSIC /rant

Okay. Am I missing anything else? Oh! English (and languages). I love grammar, and spelling, although that is something my gradeschool also taught poorly that I picked up in high school better. One, because I was learning a new language as well, so there was a focus on grammar, and two, because we learned to diagram, which is also a focus on grammar, and it's basically all like one big puzzle. Now if only I could do better with strange verb conjugations! OH, SUBJUNCTIVE/PRETERITE/IMPERFECT/ETC TENSES. (I also miss learning languages.)

Uh... earth sciences? I guess that's what's left? Also fascinating. I love nature. I find psychology fascinating. Astronomy is SO COOL. It probably helps that my parents are doctors, so my sister and I got a lot of weird biology talk (and a lot of big words) and a pretty good grasp on some areas of science when we were young. BUT, my gradeschool had a completely awful science teacher for 6th/7th/8th grades (shared teacher), so that wasn't great either. Although our books were at least better, more diagrams, more straightforward, so I could at least self-educate to some degree. Now, another topic for another day, our lack of good science communication is evident in science fairs in gradeschool and highschool, because my version of "original experiments" were never quite on par with what they wanted. I still don't understand what they wanted. Because it wasn't a demonstration of a principle, but my ideas were more often too strange to be taken seriously, it seemed.

My science fair projects throughout the years: whether people could actually tell the difference between cola brands, whether kids carried too much in their backpacks, whether cat saliva prevented germ growth (e-coli or streptococcus? or both? can't remember], whether edible fauna (a.k.a. pansies) contains vitamin C, and whether fake or real wine corks do a better job of preventing germ spoiling of wine. I'm missing seventh grade's project... I don't recall at all, really. At any rate, these projects were all off the wall because everything else I had come up with would have "been done before" (meaning my teacher didn't really want me to do that specific project, although they never really gave much advice as to what exactly I could do to improve it) so my methods were always slightly bizarre, and my data was never quite clean enough, and other than the science geniuses who managed to do amazing things (these are the people who make it to international science fairs, I mean) A LOT OF PEOPLE BULLSHITTED THEIR DATA. And got better grades because of it, because their presentations were easier when they didn't have to answer difficult questions about their data's subtleties. So basically despite the fact that "the data you get doesn't have an effect on your final grade", meaning, let science do it's job and don't force a proof of your hypothesis, I generally got fucked over by being honest. Yes, I'm still bitter about this. WHY? Because ethics are important to me. Because human treachery starts early. Because I get punished for being honest. Because my generation clearly doesn't have a problem with cheating and lying to get themselves out of a challenge. FUCK IT ALL I'M SO GODDAMN BITTER ABOUT THIS SHIT.

Sorry to give this a turn for the sad for a moment, but I really don't tend to trust a lot of people my age, and this shit is why. (On the other side, I trust them more on the technical side than I trust myself because, unless I feel I can do something perfectly, I feel very unsure of myself and second-guess myself to no end.) Same kind of shit even happened on retreats! One of my many disillusionments with faith--all the people who act like their religiosity made them so much better than everyone else, when they couldn't even set aside their phones and cd players and everything else for our week of poverty. (To the point that there were prank calls and a string of tampons and pads let down from our room to the guys' quarters. Complete bullshit for a whole week.)

ANYWAY I LOVE LEARNING BUT DON'T TRUST PEOPLE MY AGE. They are not above buying their way out of things. =/

I kind of want to do an anonymous study of gradeschoolers and see how many bullshit their data now. Ugh.

(This is why I've started to think I don't really want kids--I look at adorable babies and toddlers and think, "some day you are going to be an asshole.")

I may or may not be a horrible person.

BUT I LOVE LEARNING :D

Oh, I guess, in terms of "favorite subject", specifically, I guess I could say marching. Because drum corps is my life, and I don't know what I'm going to do without being able to do it any more. (Teaching is definitely not the same and I don't necessarily have the desire to be a music teacher. Although I could do visual, but it's still not the same as competitive marching.)
mercat: (Default)
THIS IS A LARGE POST, I AM WARNING YOU.

HOLY SHIT I SUCK AT POSTING. This thing has been sitting on my desktop for a month and a half, christ, shame on me. Anyway. I'm trying to make better habits for myself... Some are getting better (I keep a real schedule on my ipod! I'm under 100 firefox tabs consistently!) and some not (I don't check my calendar, I forget things, I haven't organized many piles of files on my new computer... from a year ago...)

Shia says Indy V will be crazy. idk what to think. I'm excited but hesitant at the same time? Eeengh. Like I said after Indy IV, I mean, at least they can't do that one anymore. (Also, I told you so. Also-also, I am kind of sick of hearing about your stereotypical MacGuffins: the spear of Longinus, Noah's Ark, all that stuff.) GO TO HAWAII, PLEEEEASE

But, uuuuhhh, if Spielberg pitched a script, I'm guessing this is happening. So... yay?

...I'm depressed that that last sentence has a question mark attached to it. :(

HOLY SHIT YOU KNOW WHAT'S DEPRESSING?! WHY ON EARTH IS THIS A MOVIE. WHO ON EARTH THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. SHANE VAN DYKE WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU ATTACHED TO THIS, YOU WERE AWESOME ON DIAGNOSIS MURDER AND NOW YOU ARE VERY NOT-AWESOME. AUGH.





Um...yes.

Also--ADORABLE KITTANZ:




While we're doing videos, this time-lapse-experiment-turned-art-video is absolutely fantastic:

ANTS in my scanner > a five years time-lapse! from françois vautier on Vimeo.





I hope this is just some lawyers having fun, and were not actually hired over legitimate offense.

I didn't even know they had finished the script for this, shit. Three months away was apparently a COMPLETE NEWS ISOLATION, much moreso than usual. (Nobody famous died.)

This movie looks awesome! That hat looks awful. (Short crown + extra-wide brim = grossnasty.)

Ghostbusters/AC/DC mashup:




Lady Gaga kidnaps Comissioner Gordon. Guys, I was about to say "I want to live in that world", and then, you know, I remembered that Lady Gaga is a real person and kicks major ass.

A good essay on Iron Man 2, which I am still excited about. The awesome thing about disappearing from the world for three months to memorize a metric assload of numbers until you've lost 15 pounds is that, when you get back, all the movies you just watched in theatres (and loved) are about to come out on dvd. Fuck. Yeah.

Some awesome shots from the filming of Star Wars.

So, "mad science", you say?!



That is the kind of awesome shit I'd like to do with my life. (I must say, though, that the closest I've ever come was destroying an antique rusted oven with a sledgehammer. Also fun, except for the part where the paint chips were popping off the bent metal everywhere...)

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT HOLY CRAPCAKES. NIGHTMARES. NIGHTMARES BEYOND BELIEF.

Jesus, it's about time! They better make these. Not that I'm planning to buy any, but, yeah...

Oh, James Cameron. I thought I couldn't hate Avatar any more, but I was wrong. You think you're God's gift to cinematography when really it sounds like you're just a rich bully. I kind of want to go see Pirahna 3D, even if I hate it, just to fucking spite you. Goddamn.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS? Rick Moranis may come out of retirement for Ghostbusters 3. HELL. FUCKING. YES. As long as this shit is better than the game (a bit repetitive story-wise, in relation to the movies). Also, I thought we were already clear that Oscar is Venkman's? There's some banter toward the beginning of the second one that that is what I took away from it.

OH HEY THERE BLACKBEARD. Why the fuck don't you have cannon fuses in your beard?! Jesus, the man should look MUCH more epic than that. For god's sake his body circled his ship seven times before sinking after he was beheaded! (Fuck yeah pirate lore.)

Chewie: not nearly as adorable as Winnie. But still hilariously adorable.

Here! Have a picture of Viggo the Carpathian.

Okay, now, look. I am all about crazy costumes but I don't even know what's going on here.



So adorable.

If the world is making you feel weary (although I don't see how that's possible after all those adorable kitties), I prescribe this.

Next video: An apparently sanctioned-by-Lucas video about the dumping of Jabba's cargo. With a creepy animation of Han Solo. (BUT I SAW THAT RAIDERS REFERENCE. I SAW IT.)

...Definitely thought it was going to be something like River Tam in the box though, the shape was eerily similar.

Heheheh kitty parkour.

HOLY SHITBALLS this woman has completely missed the point of feminism. Oh my god this article is rage-inducing. OH. MY. GOD.

Good news, videogamers! Playing video games enhances decision-making skills. That is, it enhances your ability to make choices faster.


Oh! An antibiotic-resistant superbug. Awesome. This may be our downfall. However, if you're worried about the apocalypse, I just thought you'd like to know that science seems sometimes straight-up fictional. I know a lot of zombie movies/novels/etc. lately have been leaning on diseases like ebola, mad cow disease, or other things to explain the basis for the disease. So here's a crazy fact: mad cow disease causes cattle's eyes to glow. WTF.

Rechargeable cars are less hurtful to the environment than gas, even if charged using "dirty fuel". And it's crazy, if it could charge using renewable sources--solar, wind, etc.--it's FORTY PERCENT cleaner than a gas-using car. Holy shit. Why is the world so resistant to changing how we use our resources? :(

(Answer: laziness, greed, but it still pisses me the fuck off.)

I read an article the other day about how an old solar panel from the White House was rediscovered, and some students, led by Bill McKibben, took it to the White House to see if they would take it back as a symbol of good faith and an attempt to move conservation forward in the eye of current US politics. Some of the statistics were incredibly impressive--like the fact that seed sales increased by 30% the year Michelle Obama was promoting her White House garden. But the kids were taken into a "war room" and basically told no. The whole thing made me so sad, particularly because I remember McKibben speaking to my freshman class on his book we all read, and because we were stuck in a hot, sweaty gym with a rather heavy book (as in, the material, not the book itself), he kind of got ignored by most people. And trying to sort out the fifty interested students in a room of 1000 or however many it was is not really a simple task. Anyway. The whole thing just makes me depressed for the state of our politics. I don't understand why people want to spend so much money on stuff and on keeping things the way they are instead of helping people who need help, helping the WORLD that needs help. I don't know. Maybe that's my bias of too many years of marianist catholic education speaking. I'm too hopeful, I suppose.


Cats drawn as Marvel characters! Adorable. And hilarious. Particularly Spidey and the Sandman.

OKgo's new video to encourage the adoption of shelter pets. Amazing as usual.

Surprise! Facebook is fucking with you again. And this is why I keep all my info private except to people I know.

NEWSIES IS GOING TO BROADWAY, hilariousyesfantasticyesssss.

If superheros were hipsters. I particularly like PBRman. Also I feel like Spiderman isn't that far from Tobey McGuire Spiderman because DEAR LORD DO I HATE HIM. (Also, LOL at Aquaman--Northwesterners are a silly people. I learned that this summer.)

Mysterious civilization hidden in the Amazon--I think this is the same thing (SPOILER ALERT!) Lost City of Z talks about. BUT NOBODY KNOWS. It's fascinating.

Carnivorous plants dwndling across US; I wonder if this might have anything to do with all the bugkiller sprays we use? (No idea, just a thought.)

Shark attack survivors team up to save sharks.

ATHLETE'S FOOT MEDICATION COULD CURE WHITE NOSE SYNDROME! Finally, a hint of good news on that front.

Bug people are crazy. So are geologists.

Some foreign memes for you. I particularly like Makmende, for some reason. I suppose it's like Chuck Norris, but cooler, because Chuck Norris has kind of turned out to be a douche. (Clint Eastwood = cooler than Chuck Norris.)

A really good article about building the mosque. It sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well.

Where can you find Ned and Chuck, Henry Jones (Sr.), and (old school!) Zaphod Beeblebrox? Cons, of course. (Those PD outfits are fantastic, though, seriously.)

Interesting bit of Raiders trivia.

Oh my god, remember the ad for Iron Man 2 where Pepper smooches Tony's helmet, and it wasn't in the movie, and everybody got upset? I present to you--THE ALTERNATE OPENING:



(Fan. fucking. tastic. Why did they not do this one, now?)

And another fantastic short.


Star Wars yoga, absolutely hilarious. And rather clever.

Obscure Taco Bell trivia! A.k.a. the random shit I will bring up in conversation that may eventually lead to me singing the Gordita Anthem. This, in fact, happened this week despite me finding the article months ago, although it did not lead to Gordita-anthemizing, which is a shame.

Here is a fantastic interview with Patrick Stewart, and within it is a fantastically creepy tidbit of their interpretation of Macbeth, which I am cutting for the rare case of spoilers )

Is that not fantastically Halloween-y in the best manner? It absolutely is.

First of all, this article is rather old. Second, I doubt it is more than tongue-in-cheek coincidence, and three, Hex of the Hydra sounds godawful. Like the books series.

OH MY GOD. So I was watching the new Sherlock Holmes (not for the first time), but I also decided to watch the bonus material. Apparently they decided Jude Law was more of the ladies' man than RDJ, so they took to calling him Hotson on set.

omg. Hotson.

I can't even. It's hilarious. Anythus.


Much like Rule 34 of the internets, I surmise there must be a similar rule about blogs and personal interests. If you have thought of it, someone, somewhere, has already posted about it online. There is a cool blog called Strange Maps that posts, well, non-generic maps. This particular post has some interesting material on worldviews. It's rather fascinating, but my main point of this whole thing is that the Bulgarians think Poles are all sexy fembots.

I. Don't. Even. Know.






What I do know is that I need to post things more often because I have AT LEAST this many more links piled up in my Google Reader waiting for me to take action. And FIVE MORE old posts on my desktop from before I left this summer! Luckily those posts actually have some real content, like some book reviews.

So, real stuff now, we went to the Yellow Springs Street Festival today. I got an awesome monster shirt, a necklace for my medusa costume, and a beaverfelt antique collapsible tophat! The sad part is I got home and realized the tophat is too small :( BUT I refuse to get rid of it for the time being. I also walked RIGHT PAST Dave Chappelle without even noticing at first, who was saying that the street fair was "like Yellow Springs normally, but gayer". Which... I don't know what that means? Because it's almost the opposite. All the out-of-town people come to visit for the day, so the percentage of hippies is decreased by at least some...

Also my sister finally found the CORRECT version of the Taco Bell Gordita Anthem (thank you, 1998) and I downloaded it for the sake of posterity. POSTERITY I TELL YOU.



(begins at 1:40ish if it doesn't play correctly.)

[EDIT] If I had been paying attention or had any creative/organizational method of linkspamming (Captain Obvious Hint: I don't) I would have posted the Ghostbusters/Rick Moranis thing followed by the carnivorous plants thing followed by the Newsies thing. Points to you if you know how those three are related.

Alas, I did not, and I also need to post this in the case I missed posting it before:



Also-also, tomorrow is 42 DAY as in, the date is binary for 42 (101010), and it happens only once every hundred years, and tomorrow we are getting together to watch the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, probably have a Vogon poetry reading, and get our brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick. Coincidentally that is the name of my ipod and there will be no citruses anywhere near my electronics, thankyouverymuch. (I've taken to naming my electronic devices after science fiction things, or other related items; this new lappy is HELPeR486.)

Also-also-also, I am very afraid for this Pan-galactic Gargleblaster recipe, which is, essentially, take Everclear, cut with liquors:

...er, scratch that. I may be looking at the wrong recipe. Anyway, there's a lot of alcohol, plus a little bit of mixers, add olive, et voila.

If I weren't so convinced I'll be smashed rather quickly, I'd throw in a gin & tonic to boot. Maybe I'll pour one out for my gpa who seemed delighted about the affair but clearly can't make it (and probably shouldn't be consuming high levels of alcohols).
mercat: (HGTTG)
OH MY GOD, I am such an open source science nerd. I mean, science is so expensive and in some instances there is just so much data to be processed (or unavailable due to number of researchers) that stuff like SETI and folding@home and that Mars or moon game or whatever it was that NASA came out with that I totally forget right now just makes me happy inside. Anyway. Jellywatch, a "social networking" open source method for collecting jellyfish data. (Well, any "unusual marine life".)

ISN'T THAT FUCKING AWESOME, you bet your damn ass it is.

Oh god, Viacom, wtf. I don't even know.

Updated Milgram's torture experiment used on French television. Just actually learned about this in Psych, it kinda makes me feel justified in not trusting people. Kind of. Anyway, the data is disturbing as shit, not to mention the effect to which peer pressure plays an effect. I mean, we already know (sadly, this is also in the news) that peer pressure drives people to horrible options like drugs and suicide and all sorts of other bad decisions (fashion standards vary reader by reader), but the fact that people are willing to torture other people to the possible point of death is just crazy. You know you'd like to think you'd be different but how do you know? The best I can offer is that I'd be more particular about the questions I'd ask and the objectives of the testing, but I have the advantage of a pretty decent higher science education and I think way too much so with studies I'm always trying to figure out what they're after. One because I'm curious and two so I can more accurately answer the questions in the method I think is accurate. Anyway. Roles can be intimidating (official, peers, et cetera) and this test, if nothing else, is sure as hell proof. Questioning authority can be a good thing.

I'm sorry, but all those pictures of "trees" and "dust particles" and things on Mars creep me the fuck out because they look like horrible skin diseases. Can't you just imagine parasites under that skin with some necrotic tissue (the gray areas)? Yeah... fukken GROSS.

Hard to believe at one point I wanted to be a veterinarian, jesus christ.

Well, many days late to Ada Lovelace Day, but here is a lovely article about Cindy Cohn, a woman involved with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I admire people who can argue technical knowledge to people with nontechnical education, mostly because my engineering professors are not those people. And let's face it, I have more of an artistic mind than an analytical one (though I'm thankful I can handle the analysis at all, if I were graduating as a straight-up architect right now I'd be SO FUCKED in the job market).

Oh god, Ottowa, really? It's time like these I'm thankful for the bill of rights which encouraged such lovely things as freedom of the press and the like. Because, you know, photography is dangerous.

This is completely fascinating but it makes me wonder if some people have greater sensitivity to mid-scale pitches than others. When I listen to songs (pop, musicals, doesn't matter, anything really) I could swear I hear semi-glisses and mid-tones that other people don't bother singing when they're humming a tune or doing karaoke or something. And I'm talking about people who were in the musicals or are in band. (Although not always, sometimes it's just a matter of people simplifying sheet music too much so that it follows the composition and not the recording most people are familiar with, ohmygod I am looking at you crazy lady that wanted us to sing our graduation tune LITERALLY. So oversimplified, fuuuccckkkk)

Internet censorship harms schools! Is it really any surprise that any type of censorship is harmful anymore? People NEED to be educated (and if the situation necessitates it, punished for willfully breaking rules). That is the only way that people will grow. Well, experientially, not biologically, obviously.

Isn't this the plot for that Julia Roberts movie? Honestly I think this just shows the creativity of the writers (in their willingness to present it, I mean, not necessarily "originality", as it clearly is an existant problem) as well as kind of not ceasing to prove that we need more basic technology education. Most of what I know I've picked up from the internet and I read a shit-ton more (read: spend more time on the internet) than most people I know. And I am apparently "very good with computers". (Which actually means I know how to Google For Diagnoses. [Diagnosises?]) Which is bullshit, I really don't know much about their operation. Anyway. My point is, if you have sensitive information, don't trust technology. At this point criminals should realize that "older" technology is probably almost safer at this point because some of the technology or applied knowledge to trace certain things like that is rather obscure in most people's minds these days or is just completely without people's realm of experience. Crazy, huh? (And before you wonder why I think of things like this, it's definitely because I read too many detective novels as a kid. You have to think like a thief to catch a thief.)

Oh man, number seven makes me laugh. I remember reading about that (though the social implications were probably beyond my understanding at that point) and at the moment it makes me glad that people were willing to write in and tell the other folks they're full of crap (ignoring the fact that it was a prank, of course).

Did I mention that I bought awesome spectator shoes yesterday? Because I totally did.

We also went on a bike ride, and the extreme wind (due to onsetting rain) fantastically fucked up my knee again. It seems to be healing faster, though, so... here's to hoping? I'd like to actually ride all of TOSRV this year and fuck youuuu Laura for wanting to sag part of it because I DON'T WANT TO SAG AT ALL.


TESLA DRUNK HISTORY, fuck yes. Looking at Drunk History's youtube channel it appears that there are other videos with Zooey Deschanel and such that were supposed to show up on HBO in February? And I haven't heard anything about them since which makes me sad. =(

Also, totally loling over Crispin Glover as Edison. Hahaha, fucking slick-ass bastard.

Speaking of slick bastards, check out Copenhagen over here. Sweet, no? Hell yeah.

This video is hypnotic and creepy at the same time. I'll just leave that there.

buduggawha

Mar. 23rd, 2009 11:47 pm
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Back to cleaning up links because I have way too many tabs open, and that doesn't even include all the interesting stuff I have sitting in my Google reader.

Fighting litter one kid at a time. Good idea, hopefully it actually teaches some good lessons. =)

Derringer Cycles; someone needs to buy me one of these. Or all of them.

New explosion creates new island in the Pacific, near Tonga. That is a sweetass picture.

So bandicoots are fucking adorable.

Poor hedgehog with no spines. :C

First Lady starts garden at the White House, can I just say I am extremely excited about this? I hope it helps support another branch of a sustainable living trend.

A really good video on the Ex-Gay movement. I think the best thing is that after 30 years of creating and participating in the Exodus ex-gay movement, the creators had no successes and APOLOGIZED PUBLICLY for it. GO THEM. True scientists who did not bend the facts to their will.

The most beautiful wave shots ever. Truly beautiful. I'm pretty sure #4 is Waimeia Bay on Oahu. (I remember that tower.)

A very fascinating photo-journal of North Korea. I may have already posted this, but no matter, it is really cool.

New rainbow jellyfish! Cool beans.

Mountain Dew and Pepsi will have a throwback (with omg sugar). Hooray! I am interested to try it.

WOAH HOLY SHIT HARRISON FORD JUST SHOWED UP MY TV IN A WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING AD. That was unexpected, lol. It was like "oh cool some random dude is talking about extinction, going back to blogging nowWAITAMINUTE I KNOW THAT VOICE"

I weird myself out sometimes.

Selling Girl Scout cookies online: I'm actually against it. The troops get money from each box sold and if you're taking over some other troop's market by making it available online, that is rather unfair. Especially if you're one of those obsessive sellers who sells hundreds (or thousands) of cookies. I could never understand those girls. Do they have issues or something? Anyway.

Whew, atheists make up roughly 15% of the US population. That's nothing to scoff at. I'm just compeltely surprised by how high that number is, and I'm sure reading the article gives you an idea as to why that is.

How to survive falling through ice. I probably love survival guides too much.

Rolcats! That is, Russian lolcats.

This guy wants to retool government media, and he seems to have his shit together. We need people who know what the fuck is going on in the world of technology.

Mac OS 7 on an iPhone! I miss MacPaint :C

Retooled youtube mashups: fucking amazing.

I love visual tricks; I'm still trying to figure out what optical illusion was used here.

Irrational Geographic, a photojourney through Mardis Gras.

I love this shirt more than I should. Threadless really does have so very clever tees every so often.

Zec Efron as Prince Philip: the fuck? Sorry but that shot is just... weird. And I really hate Vanessa Hudgens. The only reason I don't hate Zefron is because he actually showed some talent outside shitty Kenny Ortega HSM crap with Hairspray and stuff. Although apparently he's not doing Footloose because he doesn't want to get typecast? Which is too bad, I guess, but hopefully they find someone else that can make musicals popular to Hollywood again. (As for the audience, particularly if you look at Disney fans, I think you'll see musicals never went out of style.)

Nite Owl I saves the Waynes? Can I just say I fucking loved that movie? Mostly for little detail reasons like this.

Okay, that's like 40 tabs, I think that's enough for now. Even though I still have 79 open to clean up...
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So I totally forgot that today was Fat Tuesday and that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I think this will be the first Ash Wednesday I'm not going to church. I mean, I may have not gone last year but I don't remember.

Anyway, I'm in a terribly mood to deal with people and that will basically be a big sign tomorrow "HELLO I'M NOT A CATHOLIC" and I just don't want to deal with any of that right now... Bleh. I've been like that all day. Not in a people mood. I know exactly why, too, it's just that I happened to read several things that made me in a don't-want-to-argue-with-people mood. First of all, a random article that had caused a Twilight discussion (yeeeeah, I'm a comment reader). I don't want to dislike it just to be a literature snob, but it worries the feminist side of me that so many young girls think it's so good. I mean, for people who know it's not written that well (I did find it so boring I never made it to the point where the plot showed up) and enjoy it as fluff, cool beans, that's fine. But when I'm in a mood like this I also want to encourage people to read good stuff... like Shakespeare, haha... But yeah, sometimes I find it hard to balance encouraging people to learn with shoving it down their throats a little just for sake of argumentative convenience. I'm not the type of person who likes to argue, I just don't like being put at odds with friends. So that's where that comes from. Secondly, an article about the whole atheists-in-america and militant-christians thing, which just always gets me a little riled and anxious. Bleh. And then we went to our Girl Scout meeting where there were nine roughly third-to-fifth grade girls and THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF THE BEATLES and lately I've been frustrated that kids think High School Musical and Miley Cyrus and that shit is the Best Thing Ever and I just hate pop music so much for so many reasons and I really didn't want to deal with a bunch of annoying girls who've never heard of the Beatles. I now know why I hung out with boys in gradeschool rather than girls, and why I grew into being able to hang out with girls again. It's a maturity or intelligence (or FORETHOUGHT) issue and it explains so much. I just don't like that age group of girls, apparently.

BAH. So, yes, not in a people mood.

Oh my god there is this girl (who is sitting in the other room and it's driving me crazy) and she starts EVERY sentence with "it's one where". Regardless of actual context. If she's explaning something, it's "it's one where". FUCKING LISTEN TO YOURSELF, IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

That's another thing, I've been wanting to jump on people all day for grammar and usage stuff. Not in a people mood.

OH. Oh. Oh my god. So we were hanging out after Girl Scouts waiting for the last mom to come, and two of the girls in Phi Rho were talking about this guy at work who is kind of awkward and apparently only undeleted his facebook to say he was in a relationship with his new girlfriend but OH MY GOD IT WAS BEN CHRISTOFF THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT. I love Ben :C He was such a goofball in high school, and I mean I haven't really talked to him lately but I see him going to and from class and it's not like he grew a stalker beard and shuffles around or something. So I dunno. That just breaks my heart really, because he was a really awesome friend in high school. Lol I remember him playing guitar and harmonica with Mr. Bosticco. Oh lordy. Good times. I miss high school =)
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DID YOU SEE THAT OBAMA ACKNOWLEDGED ATHEISTS <33333333333333

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY PROGRESS :D
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Well, I guess we're sorta all-moved-in. Stayed here last night, but now Laura's here, and mom made a few more trips home, and we have more food and we've actually cooked and eaten a meal. I miss Xenia. =/ And more than that, I think I just hate all the light pollution of living in the city, not to mention the fact that we are ONE BLOCK from a vry overly-lit campus.

Dammit, UD. >=/

You know what, though? I have really awesome friends. Even though it felt kind of cheap and lame, I really wanted to make mix CDs, so I made a mix of my favorite Christmas songs, and two songs from How I Met Your Mother, and people really liked them. =)

and now I talk about Catholicism, atheism, and Christmas )

That being said, merry Christmas, happy holidays, season's greetings, happy Hannukah, happy new year, pick your favorites. Or none at all. Or a different one completely. The point is, Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men.

To me, that is Christmas.




And I'm really hoping I get the Indiana Jones soundtrack collection tomorrow... LOL. This post needs some levity.
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OH MY GOD I GOT A ONE ON MY PLAYING AUDITION! :D I don't know how that happened. But I am really excited. So January 2-4 I am headed off to Wyoming, where I still have to do a marching audition, but which I am not at all worried about. Marching, I love. Marching, I can do. (Their vis staff was not able to get to the camp, so we were done early and everything. It was lovely.)

Oh my god, I miss drum corps so much. I can't wait for next summer. Just need to do more pre-conditioning this time around, and I'll be good. Arm strength, ability to run... Especially since everydays in June will be a mile high and cold. Breathing block will be miserable. And it sounds like Troopers is big on running laps.

But I'm glas I made the choice I did... It was interesting to hear the guys at the camp talk about how vets would go off to the "good" corps for a year or so and then age out back where they had family. Basically, the impression I got from my audition at Phantom was right... They are mostly interested in winning, not in who you are. Apparently one of their friends was the center snare for Phantom--center snare--and the staff didn't know his name until several days into everydays. That's ridiculous. And not to say every winning corps is there, but it just makes me feel better about not going to Crown. I think it's insulting to get money out of camps for so long and waste my time, not to mention... that. So much a different type of family, it's not even funny.

As for my computer, UDit is completely useless. Every time I email them about a message I am getting (no matter how minor) their general response is a lame question about retrieving data I already gave them, and "if that doesn't help then bring it in". So once again, they proved completely useless and with several hours of programs that didn't work, I finally found the solution through Google (I ran the fake program name as well as the "trojan" name). Oh, I don't know if I got that far in explaining before--it turned out to be an adware file that only looks like a windows security message telling you that you have a trojan (mine was Trojan.Zlob.G, but the file itself was merman.exe) and recommends you download a removal program (Program Defender 2009). This is fake safety software that "runs" a diagnostic to find the issue and fails partway through, prompting you to upgrade. So then the hackers get your money. And the multitude of anti-spyware programs I now have downloaded got rid of the fake security program, but to get rid of the adware (the fake windows messages) you have to start your computer in safe mode, go to Applications, find the "Google" folder and delete the two fake files in it. (I was worried at first, but there's nothing else there--it's not actually a Google folder.) So, once again, UDit is a failure and I fixed my own computer simply with Google-fu.

And now, lots and lots of linkspam because I've been a terrible, terrible tab user lately. And no lj-cut because I am CRUEL.

I rather love this Neil Gaiman poster. And speaking of zombies, I just watched 28 Days Later, which is a pretty good movie but feels... incomplete, somehow. But it did remind me of watching Sean of the Dead, which I somehow connected to that from the fact that I finally got my Phi Rho paddle, and I thought it looked like a cricket bat, and Christine and I somehow determined we are going to play cricket with my paddle and bouncyballs. Yesss. I miss Nookball a lot, haha.

This may be the saddest PostSecret ever. Not the most depressing, but one I could never understand... That's a sort of compromise I could never make, and it must be terrible to be in fear of something that other people think is so great about life. Wow, that was a really concise version of what I think and probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense... Maybe I'll expand upon it more later. I don't know.

Harrison Ford doing J. J. Adams Comedy? I'd be up for that. He's really entertaining with dry humor.

Daniel Craig wants Moneypenny and Q in the next Bond movie. EXCELLENT. Craig should be my new best friend. I want Q back and I think they should keep John Cleese. He can do srsface just fine.

The interesting source of phrases such as "in the limelight". Cool beans.

FSM nativity, pirates included. I love it. (The displays of FSM lights are awesome, too.)

I am totally doing this in my room. Now just to find tables...

This freedom-of-religion article showed up on my friendslist somewhere. I've had that sitting around but today I randomly stumbled upon an article discussing it (and atheist messages) which I think is really interesting. Another article about atheism where I think the more interesting topics are unrelated--digital ghosts and older people's mentalities. My dad said he read an article about the testing of older folks, and that it's not the idea that "old people are grumpy" but rather, they lose the ability to censor themselves, so to speak. Which is interesting in contrast to the idea that they are like children.)

A really interesting article about the "anti-wedding" which I may have posted when I was talking about feminism. It has a lot of good points. Sorry about the awkward formatting, the link to the actual article was really messy.

Thylacines can open their jaws up to 120 degrees... That's so, so disturbing.

The octodress. Is it not amazing? As creepy and fucking disturbing as ocotpi are, they are really cool as a deocrative element. (However, when they decide to take over the planet, we are doomed.)

This is some pretty cool art with lamps and such in nature. Awesome.

I forgot about this Pushing Daisies soundtrack that was coming out! SO MANY SONGS, I LOVE IT

Pretty cool article about major movie studio logos. I forget what the original reason was that this was so fascinating... Some tidbit I can't remember at the moment.

Pretty cool old "music video" from 1928.

I like these alternative Christmas Tree ideas.

Someone commented on Betty Page's death calling her "spectacularly singular"... I don't know why, I really like that phrase. And it's true.

So tonight I went out to dinner with my parents and grandparents and my aunt and uncle, and we got to talking about Facebook and the fact that my dad has one to keep in touch with people, and then of course my grandparents being my grandparents we started arguing about the morality of employers checking the Facebook profiles of potential employees. Of course I just gave them my solution--lock your damn facebook. But it's interesting what some people might think about what's on your profile, and different points of view on that. And talking to some people, it's weird to have parents on facebook. I was just looking back at an older post from when dad joined, and I said "WHAT" like it's weird but I think moreso it was just unexpected. Laura apparently didn't friend him, but she, who knows, might have something to hide. (Partying, probably.) I don't necessarily want dad to see my excessive cursing or the fact that I'm no longer Catholic (not that he'd necessarily see "pastafarian" and "church of heathus christ of ledger-day saints" not as humor only), but you know what? Laura's cursed in front of him, he knows we watch shit-for-tv or movies sometimes, I don't care so much. I don't curse in front of him or my grandparents, that's good enough for me. But other people talked about having family finding out about photos on facebook that they didn't want their parents or others to see, and you know what? I don't really get it. If you're worried, make it private, friends-only. If you're concerned about your little brothers and sisters showing your parents... Here's a grand idea: don't do anything in your life you wouldn't be proud of. If you make mistakes, admit they were mistakes and move on, but if something is a concern to your image, don't do it! I don't understand why that's so hard for people... I mean, from peers to politicians, what's so difficult about making good decisions? About thinking things through... Honestly.

Oh my god there is a hilarious skit on Robot Chicken about the construction of the Raiders temple. IT IS AMAZING. Hopefully it will be up on youtube superfast.

OH MY GOD. THEY CAN TAKE IMAGES OUT OF YOUR BRAIN NOW. You have no idea how long I have been waiting for this sort of technology to get started... I want to record dreams like crazy.

Whew, I think that's everything for now.
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Halloween post! Unfortunately no time to do my standard "holiday post"... But such is November, generally.

PHOTOOOOOS )

Not really doing NaNoWriMo this year... but I did figure out that writing keeps me from falling asleep in class. Now if only I could pay attention and write at the same time... =/

God this month sucks.

ALSO WAL-MART WHAT THE SHIT YOU CANNOT BE PLAYING 24 HOUR CHRISTMAS MUSIC ALREADY.

Also-also, despite the fact that I go to a Catholic school, I do find it a bit double-standardish we get repeated emails about not chalking the sidewalks but the entire ghetto gets covered in saints names. I'm not offended, I just wonder if other groups would get permission to do someting similar. ANYWAY, the point of this is that immediately in front of our house is written "St. Polycarp" which just keeps making me want to make a Pokemon joke.

Poliwrath has evolved into Polycarp (Or would that be Magikarp... alternate to Gyrados... DO NOT ASK ME WHY I RETAIN THIS KNOWLEDGE, I have no idea how it stays back there)

Also, Sister Schmelling's Halloween letter about not getting too crazy in the ghetto... Lady, Halloween is not "deeply based in Christian history". ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY? YOU BASICALLY STOLE ALL THAT FROM THE QUOTE-UNQUOTE "PAGANS". ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY OR WHAT

Ohhhhh wait you're a Catholic in denial. If twelve years of Catholic school have taught me anything, it's that you're icredibly selective about your history.

thoughts

Jun. 10th, 2008 09:52 am
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Extremely long, but
1) that's kind of the point, and
2) it's extremely interesting.

a very interesting article about the human brain )

Discussion: First of all, I think because I'm so stupidly paranoid sometimes, I love dystopian stories. I would really like to write one one day. I had an idea, it's sitting in a folder on my computer, but the problem is that it's more for the technology involved on a cool level, rather than the dystopian issues. Basically like distilling Star Wars down to lightsabers. Cool, but you don't get any story. Someday hopefully I'll have a good idea though.

Now, to the actual article. (I have two post-its full of notes I made about the article, but I'm sure I am missing a few because I wrote them as I skimmed it a second time.) I've noticed this myself, and in fact I think I may have even blogged about it before. Probably talking about internet addiction and stuff. I know that I am a whore for information. Seriously, trivia, knowledge, you name it. I've pretty much always wanted to be in school, just at my own pace. I think, for the rest of my life, I will always be taking some sort of class. I enjoy learning new techniques and gaining new skills and having information stored away at the back of my brain. The problem is, you forget it over time... But that's not my point, I'm getting a bit tangential. The point is, I've noticed I find it harder to read books. Unless it's extremely compelling, I will stop and think a few pages/chapters in, but my eyes keep moving, which is annoying because then you have to go and read a whole page over again. I've always had that quality, that I will think, almost anywhere. My best friend in gradeschool used to tease me about it all the time, because sometimes I would stop talking to her in a car ride or something and just be staring out the window, thinking. I used to get people asking me if I was okay, yeah, I'm fine, I'm just staring out the window looking at things and thinking about them... But I have noticed that after a little bit I lose interest in the book, it just becomes words on the page. More than just stopping and thinking (or getting easily distracted, like many books you have to read for school, oh, let's say, Wuthering Heights [BLECH]), but completely losing interest. Almost as if your eyes lose focus because you've been reading too long, but it's coming from your brain instead. The words on the page just become mush. It's so frustrating.

Sometime last year, I can't remember if it was before drum corps or after fall semester, I told myself that this year would be a big change for me. I was going to Hawaii to get in some relaxation, some adventure, figure out what in my life is not going right. There are a lot of small things, I suppose, but I think the main thing I noticed is that I've lost my self-limitation. I used to be able to just come home, do what I had to do, and then I could do what I wanted. Part of it was that gradeschool was too easy in some ways, and not interesting in many others, and when I got to high school I cared less about classes because I cared more about friends. Same with college, and especially because I told myself I'm doing engineering because I can, not because it's my main interest. I just want to have the skillset. Which only leads to more procrastination. But the issue here is that I needed to sit myself down and say, no, you have to start caring about stupid things again, they aren't going to work themselves out. I need to manage my time online. I need to exercise more. I need to make an effort getting out to meet people. I need to be ME and not lose myself in inane things. I don't even know where I lost myself, but somewhere toward the end of high school and the beginning of college, I did. I focused too much on what other people wanted me to be, so much the adult because I know, and they know, that I can handle the responsibility-- but I can't forget that I am so much a child's imagination. I daydream, I sketch, I have too many ideas and aspirations. I'm too hopeful in humanity, probably. But I've always felt that way, and I think I tried to crush it. It seems like all throughout gradeschool I was one of the most mature kids in my class, though I always felt frustrated by the fact that I had no real knowledge/understanding/interest in current events, other than scientific. In that sense I think I definitely matured, though it pretty much took me all throughout high school. But I can definitely at least better understand some politics and things, or at least I have more of an interest in them. Something about them is still not there for me to grasp. Anyway, the point is that I have a need to create and a need to let my imagination go and a need to be a dork. I can't sacrifice that for anything. Maybe I'm not going to play with all my toys but it doesn't make it any less fun having them. Laura was looking at me ridiculously for buying so many of the Indiana Jones 3 3/4" figures, but as soon as I pulled them out of the box to show her she started messing with the accessories and the boxes and we actually spent a little while setting them up and trying to keep Spalko's pistol from getting eaten by Jack.

And now I am extremely far off topic. Back to my post-its.

Artificial intelligence scares the SHIT out of me. Not in the sense that computers will take over and we'll become a biology to be exploited or killed, but rather in the sense that humans will become nothing more than advanced technology, modifying ourselves until we lose every element of humanity... and yeah, I know that deep down poetically it's emotion, but it scares me that people want to genetically CHOOSE what their kids will be, not just male or female but eye color and hair color and intelligence and skills and strength, and that those are things that would eventually become outdated as they are upgraded, and soon you have outdated children. Who could treat a person like that? Another human being? This is ignorance. (This is Sparta! Oh wait. No, it's just ignorance. Maybe politics. But it's madness, too.)

And maybe genetic modification everyone decides is unethical. (Though there would probably still be someone out there experimenting... the law isn't perfect) So what if people can put chips into their brain to remember things? Yeah, I remember reading a kids magazine wishing you could just do that so you wouldn't have to go to school. Convenient, but what if your computer broke, or was programmed badly? Or you crashed in a forest and a moose trampled on you and broke the circuit? Then where would you be? And it also leads to the ego that you think you know something, but really, you don't. This is another thing I've had to find out about myself recently. Gradeschool was too easy and not interesting, and it's easy to delude yourself about teachers and books and things if you're obsessive about good grades, but starting senior year and going 'til now I've been able to admit to myself a few things. Grades aren't as important as they seem, because you should get out and live. That being said, they're very convenient for scholarships and things, and I will probably be kicked out of the honors program. Which upset me, but after a while being bitter I realized there really aren't any benefits anyway, other than being able to check out 100 books from the library at a time. (If I'm still in, I'm going to do it. If not, I'm stealing Candice's card to do it.) Oh, and I won't graduate Summa Cum Laude (I think?), but... does that really matter? Besides grades, I had to learn that I'm not as much of a genius as I wished I was. There are things I don't understand, and probably my mewest revelation is that you can't just learn them for a semester, for a test. You're not really learning anything, and I'm starting to feel those effects. You have discussions with your friends and realize that even though you studied and at one point knew what they are talking about, you can't recall as much of it as you'd like. (Then again, maybe I'm too obsessive and I just want to remember it all. Who knows.)

Can't remember if I already mentioned this a few paragraphs up, but I'm just going down the post-its now. Staying in school... I think I will be always taking classes, about something. Literature, history, art, you name it. And because classes in school are so focused, I'm always reading. Used to be magazines and books, now mostly internet. I have acess to learning so many things I may never need to know directly, but what if them one day applies to a creative engineering solution or a writing idea or an art idea? That's how my brain works, I have millions of stupid little things floating around, and somehow they will crash into eachother and I'll have an idea. In order to be creative I know I have to feed my brain, but I've also learned if I'm feeding it I need to be creative.

Something else I think I've touched on before, and I think about at least once a week if not once a day; age and technology. I wonder how a generation that's grown up understanding computers will adjust to technology as they get older, as older generations fall behind (and older technology falls behind, and the things that go with it: media, politics... sadly). I wonder how technology's going to change...

Now, malleability of the brain, that's interesting. It's both good and bad. Bad in that my brain is becoming more rapid-fire and I lose focus reading books. Not good at all. Good in that it means you can teach an old dog new tricks... Definitely one of my fears. That I will stop learning, that I will get stupid with age (yeah, not just fear of dying here AUGH), that I will lose ability to do things as I get old. Not that I feel old now, though I think people expect me to say that because OHMYGODI'MTWENTY (well, not yet, technically). Like I've said before, I'm too much a child's mind and I don't want to not learn things, not be able to go on adventures. (At least, it's self-encouragement to get in shape. So when I in my eighties I can still run.)

Internet is not the only thing that messes with my brain. I cannot listen to music when I study, or really when I do anything that is not expressly listening to music. Maybe it's because I was so much raised on music that it's like my sixth sense, tempo and tuning and listening and feeling it. For a while I just tried studying to music without words, because I figured it was that language is so important to us that it would be what distracts us, but it's not true for me, it's definitely any sort of music. That being said, I just had the remembrance that a common "science fair" in grade school was to see who took a test better, those who listened to music while studying, and those who didn't, and that those who listened to (I think classical) did better. I am not sure that would work for me, though I think the science behind it is that the music stimulates more of your brain to get it active and remembering. Only problem for me is that I guess it is too active. Maybe it's just that my brain is turning into an internet-brain and I lose focus on studying, but really music should help... who knows.

I've also noticed my mental to-do list skills breaking down. Now whether that was that I have so much more to keep track of now, not just do your homework do your chores work on a craft project and go to bed, but do your homework go to work remember what to wear and then go to the bank and then go to walmart (with a whole separate mental list) and then go home to meet laura and pack (yet another list) and then clean the house so people can come over at x time and then go on vacation... remains to be seen. Or maybe that I now purposefully carry around a notebook and pen at all times, and write down project ideas and things I need to do, and I rely more on that... But I almost always forget to go back and check it. Right now my desk is COVERED in post-it notes and the notepad function on my phone is full. For a while I tried a method of keeping "A, B, C, D" level lists on my desktop in Word, but that was forgotten quickly because it requires upkeep. So... I don't know.

Another topic dealing with age and technology: how people watch movies. When you are younger, everything is entertaining, and when you are older you start watching stuff made more for the story and the thoughtfulness and the emotion and stuff. And if you're trained in certain technical areas, I'm noting more nowadays that you watch the costumes or the acting or the way the camera pans or the editing or the CGI. I'm not convinced it's because a lot of my friends have interest or training in that, though I'm sure that's part of it. I think part of the issue is that it's popular (popular? I don't know) to be a cynic, to think you're an expert, to watch it not for entertainment but on a meta-level to guess it's predictability and it's qualities that I think ten years ago only a professional (or indie) movie maker would have cared about. Maybe it's part youtube, maybe it's the addition of behind-the-scenes special features on almost all DVDs (and I swear to god if they don't start putting more special features on the Indy dvds I will kill someone), who knows. Maybe it's all of that.

You know what word never ceases to distract me from the quality of the writing? "Gewgaws." PLEASE STOP USING THIS WORD, PEOPLE, I am begging you

Part of me has always wanted simplicity. Not quite being a hermit but living in a small house being able to take care of all my stuff and growing my own food (or catching/killing my own food, whatever) and being able to manage everything myself. Part of it is that machines are becoming too complicated, it requires a LOT of skill to be able to fix cars now. Part of it is my concern for the environment, that owning little and having a small footprint is best. Part of it is that man is turning into machine... a corporate machine, maybe, but a machine nonetheless. Buy the clothes buy the ipod buy the phone buy the car buy the gas buy the fancy restaurants buy the (COMPLETELY BULLSHIT MARKET) diamonds. I think, in a small-market system, captialism is good. Maybe I'm just too much of a gloom-and-doom worry wart, but I'm really afraid for where we, as a society, are headed. Environment, politics, corporations... Ugh. Maybe just another reason to want to get away from it all...

Plus, I've always thought survivalist skills are cool. (AND ENVIRONMENTAL HOUSE DESIGN! Awesome) I'd love to see anyone from Hollywood survive in a forest for a week. I know my plants recognition skills aren't all that great, but I don't think I'd do too badly. Shelter, water, I am there. Fire in theory. Trapping animals a bit more of a challenge.

(WOO, one post-it down!)

Back to my dystopia thing for a second-- you know what would be interesting? A current-day dystopia novel. Something that would happen tomorrow. I think partially because technology moves at an exponential rate, that it would both have to be as well as make it more interesting. (Only thing is that it would go out of date probably very quickly...) Hmm. I'll have to think on this some more.

Another concern of having a mind that moves too quickly: ADD diagnoses. They're already way too high, and way overmedicated, but being raised on the internet might only make that worse.

Maybe I am just a bit old-fashioned, wanting to avoid having a brain that moves too quickly, but in the same manner I hate having downloaded-only music and movies. I'd rather own the dvd and the cds. I think it's still too easy for files to corrupt, for computers to crash or get broken, and there are all the stupid limits like iTunes "you can only download this file to five computers!" I know it's so they make more money, but, UGH, I'm not going to get into a political rant about how I think this (almost)depression is good for most Americans... Also, I almost always have music playing in my head. You think I'm kidding... I'm not. The only time I don't consciously hear it is if I'm thinking particularly hard about something interesting.

Also, scary that we are losing our ability to focus long-term... I already think it's scary we used to have much more impressive memory skills, but lost that with the invention of the printing press. Maybe it's just that I am too insecure and always afraid I will need to remember something I have forgotten, or that I hate egotism so much and there are so many people who think they're really smart but really know nothing. I don't know. Also, I think losing the ability to focus on something for a long time will just accentuate the aspect of immaturity that you don't think outside of your immediate actions, the whole monkeysphere theory. Truly fascinating stuff.

(My next thought was, this sounds like something I read the other day that sounded like it could have come from Douglas Adams [I don't remember what it was, but it involved discussion of "it's a small world" and that it's all an act that there are only 500 people besides you {which isn't true, I have over 500 people friended on facebook, all but a handful I actually know in person}, but in reality it's just that there are many smaller circles of about 500 people... maybe it was Neil Gaiman?]. And then, it's interesting how British humor always has an interesting take on something, like they sat back to get a bit more perspective than you, and I love that. But then that also relates to this discussion, what if it's just their being a bit more old-fashioned? Almost like the metaphorical US as a pre-teen and Britain being in it's late 20's saying there-there, I told you so, in a mocking but not annoying manner. Which makes me wonder, what if the British have got it right all this time...) (I dunno, I do kind of think I could easily live there. Reading Adams, he's said that Brits are much more sensible and that atheism and agnosticism is not looked down upon as badly as it is in the US. BY THE WAY, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS. I can't see the video, but from the quotes that sounds ATROCIOUS. Just makes me more frustrated for that whole campaign by scientists to get more discussion of technology and global warming and important topics into legislature... ARGH)

Um, and back to the Epic Memory thing real fast (termed because I remember that people used to memorize the Odyssey and the Iliad), most memorization today is just rote. You do it until it becomes an instinct, not necessarily putting the thinking behind it, and I think that was an issue for me for learning some things. Or rather, testing on them. You can't teach a method of study of rote memorization and then expect it to be APPLIED. Argh.

Oh, and I think I may have actually lost a lot of my skill telling jokes. Laura and I used to be able to go on forever, back and forth from one joke to the next. I think part of that is that as you get older you find other things to entertain yourself with, and that I've stopped reading jokes as much, and I know I haven't listened to the Dr. Laura Thanksgiving Day joke show in a while, and I don't even know if she doesn't anymore. (Still annoyed that the one year we got through, LAURA STOLE MY JOKE ...yeah, I can hold grudges like nobody's business)

Interesting that the author of the article talks about pancake people. I think that's definitely true, and kind of goes back to my idea that perhaps capitalism on a more personal level is better. Mom and Pop stores and people actually learning trades if they have no interest in school, and a car I can fix myself... But that's back to politics again, I'd rather not go there. Only thing is, I don't know if I'm a product of society in that way, or if it's just my personality, but I've always been sort of a take-interest-in-everything want-to-be-a-renaissance-man sort. I tend to think it's me and not society, as this is still relatively new in regards to the internet raising people, and I am a bit extreme and all-over-the-board in my interests.

Now, back to something off topic but relating to my dystopia interest. I have almost always read books for entertainment rather than education (though a lot of educational stuff was entertaining to me...), and my dad and I have always thought that you should be able to look at a book as entertainment and not have to analyze it for themes and symbolism and metaphors. But I also wonder, it can be very interesting to have that secondary level, if you study it. I've always wanted to write a book and just say "there's no lesson here, it's just supposed to be fun", but I don't know if I could anymore. I mean, I think I could, but it wouldn't be as interesting as something with more significance. (But when I try to write significance with metaphors, I go a bit crazy, and that's another issue.) Are there are stories just pure entertainment with no lesson, though? Star Wars? I mean, I love the hell out of Indiana Jones, but I'm pretty sure the basis is to be responsible for what is right, there, and have a sense of mystery and awe. Terminator? I mean is there some Kubrickesque dystopian message there? I have no idea (I've only seen it once).

Ideally, my writing style is like Hitchhiker's Guide or Neil Gaiman or Diana Wynne Jones, all of which I consider to be entertainment primarily. (However, American Gods has a deeper meaning for me, which is slightly off topic.) Are there any messages in Hitchhiker's Guide? I don't really think so, other than, stop taking it all so seriously because it doesn't really matter (which, while sometimes good, also worries me). My only problem is that it takes quite a lot of work to get me in that mood, and it's difficult to keep. Like I said, I think I'm too much of a renaissance man. I would write a book in that style and never be able to write another one like that again, but I would easily move on to another idea another genre another style. I could act if I had the chance, I would sing if I had the chance, I would be an architect or an Imagineer. Who knows, really...

(Incidentally, 2001 was a movie I felt they could have cut the beginning and the end off of and had a decent movie. I guess I'll have to watch it again with the right metaperspective. Damn me for expecting entertainment...?)

[EDIT] Also, I wonder if my newfound semi-carsickness (I can no longer read in the car... extremely disheartening for me) relates at all to this. Truly.
mercat: (Default)
This is looking to be a good week.

Firstly, I have a HUGE backload of posts I've been meaning to make (since January) with all the Hawaii updates, too. That's gonna have to wait because you know what I just spent the last five hours doing? This:

(Secondly)I think you all should read this link about Anonymous and Scientology. It's just the beginning. Fascinating. Hilarious, but unforunately memes don't translate well to real life protests (MINUS the Guy Fawkes masks).

ALSO? There are ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DAYS until INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is released. In celebration, starting tomorrow, I will post EVERY SINGLE ONE of the hundred-day countdown with some interesting piece of trivia or information.

Also!!!! THE TRAILER COMES OUT THURSDAY (with Spiderwick) I am so excited you have no idea. Fuck Valentine's Day, I have more important things to worry about. Like studying history for my two tests Friday so I can see this movie on Thursday and then watch the trailer online Friday a million jillion frillion times.

SO. My huge epic post of catching-up-ness is still forthcoming. My sincere apologies. Anonymous and Indiana Jones have taken over my life. Happy V-day to meeee! =D
mercat: (Default)
So today is Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent. A time you're supposed to change and everything, right? I think I've been changing a lot in the past year or two, for good or for bad. And I think that while I spent a lot of time looking for what I am, I lost who I am. And over the past week I've somehow found it again. I can't really explain it, precisely, but I feel like my old self, just smarter. By old self I mean the person I was in high school (fuck, even late gradeschool), except, like I said, with added intelligence and experience as college brings.

So, honestly, with Lent you're supposed to give something up or try to better yourself in honor of God. And in light of this being Lent, and me not ever making my New Year's Resolutions post, and what I've relearned or reexperienced or remembered (tangent: can you just "member"?) in the past week, I think it's time to set some stuff down in stone (as it were). It feels dishonest to try to figure things out when what I'm figuring out clearly isn't what I used to think and to still define myself by what I was before.

Somehow in the past two years I got wrapped up in trying to find what I lost, that feeling of excitement of discovery and adventure (I suppose), and in the meantime I managed to let it slip through my fingers completely. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I've felt it a hundred times; since I got back this summer (which was an amazing experience), I've felt not myself. Utterly moreso than was "normal". I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but I do think I need to step up and redefine things.

Roughly Junior and Senior year of high school I figured out that I really, honestly, don't have a problem believing in God. For a while, thinking about "what is Heaven" really got to me and I was afraid I was losing my religion. I am still comfortable with there being a God, it's just a little more complicated. However, that comes later in the story. I'm not really sure how the change happened. Was it watching Pirates for the first time that about the same time Pastafarianism came around, and Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed pirate-ing it up and poking fun at things? I don't know. I really don't; I'm not a Pastafarian and although I can't take the creation story literally, I don't completely disrespect people's faith. I guess it's all a bit difficult to explain, so bear with me. I promise I'll get all the points down before I hit "post." ;)

I don't believe things literally that aren't founded and backed and everything, but I'm not saying they're not true. There just isn't any proof (enough for me) that one religion is exclusively 100% true while the others are "pagan" and 100% false. (I don't even think that's the right way to think about it, but I think most people are raised to because they take religion at face value and don't look at any deeper aspects.) However, I have a deep respect for the good they may do (this interestingly can be demonstrated in relation to Christianity and the "monkeysphere" idea which I find fascinating) and the truths they do hold. I guess it's more of a philosophical outlook but I am a logical being (meaning it's not how I've chosen to be, but what I am and have been), so there's nothing I can do about that.

I remember realizing a long time ago that, no matter what you believe, you're going to have to take something on faith. If you're religious then maybe it's that God created the world, if you're scientific maybe it's that the Big Bang happened and there's been enough chaos/random occurrences (as my stats professor says, most anything has a chance of happening at least once) to end up with that we have today. But through Catholicism I've learned that neither has to be mutually exclusive, which I suppose got me thinking; couldn't many religions be not mutually exclusive if we could look for their truths and not the "unimportant" (so to speak) details? I think that sort of thought came from my dad and from learning about Pope John Paul II. (Upon research, it's more the Second Vatican Council the statement came from, but JP2 definitely worked for peace and religioius understanding which is why I associate it with him.) Basically, the Vatican II statement was made that the final goal of all people is to return to God so religions that share that goal are respected in the eyes of the Catholic Church. The official statement (according to the great source, wikipedia) is, "the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men." Basically the church said, yeah, we don't agree with you on the details but you have some truths. Which I guess struck me really strongly and I agreed with, until I realized that there were some details of the Catholic Church I didn't agree with, either. I think things like birth control are topics that a lot of Catholics may not agree with the church on, but they just sort of ignore it blaming it on the church's old-fashioned-ness and hierarchical nature, or they ignore it because they don't really care. (I know too many people who are just going through the motions.) Actually it kind of scared me when I was younger; would standing up and disagreeing saying, "no, I definitely don't agree with you on that" get me kicked out of the Church? (Not the church, but the Church.) Just because I was applying my beliefs to my actions, would I be punished, while people who agreed with me and chose to go through the motions be perfectly okay? I never really got an answer on that but I'm under the understanding that it takes a whole heckuva lot to get yourself kicked out of the Catholic Church. What they say is that as long as you hold the same beliefs, you are a Catholic, for ever and ever and ever, even if you stop going to church. In the sense that, should you stop going to mass and die and get to Heaven and God says, "why did you stop going to Church? It's important for these reasons" and you udnerstand him, you can be sorry for what you did and be forgiven and you not going to mass doesn't mean you're now non-Catholic pagan who's going straight to hell. (This is getting really complicated. But honestly, the Catholic Church is really complicated and I'm only providing a detailed explanation because what you say makes more sense if you can back it up.) ANYHOW. I don't know if I became famous (I'm reminded of the John Kerry incident here) if I would have to keep my mouth shut or what in order to still remain "Catholic," but until they actually kick me out of the Church (which I don't think they ended up doing to Kerry) I'll keep saying I'm Catholic because that's what they educated me with.

It's not 100% Catholicism anymore, though, but I couldn't say what it is. I believe that abortions are bad and cruel and inhumane, but I also believe that I have no right to choose what someone else does with their body. I trust in science but I don't not believe in God, in fact I still pray (though not much in the traditional sense, I suppose, more of an open thought-dialogue), and I don't believe that whatever God there may be is necessarily the Christian one. I suppose it's some sort of agnosticism, but I don't like applying that term because people assume the meaning of atheist and it's difficult to get a dialogue going. (Perhaps it seems conniving or political to continue to call myself Catholic rather than agnostic? Perhaps, but I maintain that it's the truth, and the need for clarification and honesty is what's prompting me to explain all this. I'm not trying to hide anything.) The only big thing I can think of at the moment that I have a problem with is going to mass. It does nothing for me except take an hour out of my day and give me time to enjoy some singing. I try time and time again to get something out of it, but really it's not worth anything to me. What I've learned from the Bible I've learned in school, and I learned it a lot better.

Haha, shit, I never got to the part about my dad. My dad goes to mass regularly, but the most I've heard him say about his beliefs in relation to creating and living in a good, peaceful world is that Jesus came and said, you know, the little details don't really matter as much as you think they do (like the pork rules or what constituted activity on the day of rest, which sociologically were good rules but got taken to religious extremes because they were put under the umbrella of religion but OMG now we're getting into the complicated matters of history and anthropology), can't we all just be nice to eachother? And I honestly think people worry too much about the details (which I suppose is ironic coming from the mouth of someone who plans and worries over the details of everything else) and forget to try to be nice to eachother.

Anthropologically our brains use labels so we can learn, so everything isn't new. For example if you stick your hand in the fire you learn it's hot, and our brains work to assume that all fire is hot. However this works against us, sometimes, such as stereotype profiling. A stereotype may be perfectly correct but it does not mean that it's right nor that the person you're applying it to is definitively within that stereotype.

Ohmygod this is going to be the longest post ever.

I suppose it all seems to be a rather bold statement when it's all condensed like this, but this is about eight years of education and philosophy and learning-about-religions-and-their-beliefs that has got me here. A lot of faith and a lot of science, as well. I don't know, is this starting to make logical sense to you guys? Have I skipped some crucial piece along the way? Hm. Anyhow, that's what I believe, in a nutshell of sorts. There's a lot more to it that relates to the sort of person I am, which is where I'm going with this out of the need to know who I am. Er, perhaps define rather than "know." I know who I am, you just go through life trying to define it so others can understand it.

I don't believe in hypocrisy. I believe in looking at who you are and what you are to find the truth, and where there is hypocrisy there isn't truth. However I believe you are prefectly justified in changing your mind because you learned something. At the same time that I don't believe in hypocrisy, I believe that you can have different attitudes with different people as long as they don't contradict. For example; I can be rowdy with my friends and curse up a storm because curse words mean nothing to me, they don't hurt me in any way. But I can turn around and not curse in front of my family, because I know that they would find it offensive and I respect their views on that, so I don't curse around them. Is that hypocritical? I don't think so. It's different, but different doesn't necessarily mean it has to disagree.

I think that's a big problem in today's world is that people automatically assume that different is wrong, and I've spent my whole life (seriously, I had some interesting experiences in gradeschool) trying to show other people that that's wrong.

WHICH brings me back to whatever my Lenten promise is going to be. Yes, I suppose it's a bit "going through the motions" but I'm doing it consciously (I'm not trying to fake that I'm a 100% Catholic) and I'm not really doing it for the sake of being Lent so much as finally inspired for this year.

My whole...deal...whatever it is, is to be true to who I am. I've felt so lost and so mellow for so long that I can't stand it anymore. Yeah, maybe I'm wrong about what I believe, but I can't sit back anymore and say, well, maybe I'm this. I have to take a stand, and if I need to learn that I was wrong I am more than willing to say it. I need to be free from being afraid. This year, I decided, is going to be about changing what I need to change to be myself. It's one reason I'm in Hawaii; to get away from what was stifling me, namely trying to be the person everyone knew I was and engineering.

Honestly, I love designing, but that much engineering is crushing my soul.

So, in the past week, I decided. I'm going to speak up for what I am now, because I know. For the past few years I've been nervous when I'm alone, not because I hate being alone (quite the opposite really, there's some good gradeschool stories for that, too), but what I realized the other day is because I can't stand people judging me. When you're alone people assume you're a loser or a loner and that's not the case, but somehow the fact that realizing outright why sitting alone in a crowded lunch room was uncomfortable has given me some sort of freedom to see how ignorant other people can be and to not give a flying fuck. It's a slow battle to be won, but I'm sure I'll slowly be getting better at it. It's the sort of New Years Resolutions things I have to do; I have to break out of my comfort zone and stop being afraid. I'm not even exactly sure what I'm afraid of, but I've always tried to slip by unnoticed so I wouldn't be judged. I think this stems from the fact that I've been subject to so much judgement-with-disrespect (see: teasing) about certain things that I've done whatever I can to avoid it. But this sort of awakening I think has shown me that it really is much more localized than I thought and that I need to be me more than I have been.

However, this brings up a lot of issues about egotism. Apparently (as I learned today in ceramics during our Marianist culture lecture), one of the worst sins in the Catholic Church is to hold yourself above someone else. Which I agree with, yet at the same time I don't. Have you ever read The Fountainhead? That's where this question first started bothering me. Yes, you shouldn't hold yourself above someone else for the sake of bringing them down. But if you don't have teachers who admit they are better than their students, how will the students ever learn? Along the lines of Socratic knowledge, you have to have an ego enough to know who you are. Maybe some people don't have to know who they are, exactly, they're content with being a product of marketing and blasé design. But I know that I have to know who I am, and I firmly believe the world would be a much better place if people started thinking for themselves, really studying their actions and thoughts. I wonder if it's like the difference between introverts and extroverts; I am so introverted that I cannot possibly understand how extroverts get by without so many worries; it frustrates me that I can't comprehend it. Is it the same that there are people with no need to define themselves? I don't think so, but it would be interesting (though probably upsetting) to be proven wrong.

Which all leads to my new resolve. Upon rediscovering, recovering, whatevering what I need to be to live, really live, I have to bend to my ego more. Which is a very precarious situation. It seems as though if I want to be me, I have be an asshole. Self-centered survival of the fittest and all that jazz. So the question is, do I be an asshole, or is there really any benefit I'm getting out of being mellow to everyone? I don't think there is, anymore. I just think I need to be more open with people and be willing to explain the way I define things socially. Yeah, it's difficult to change the way people think and interact but I think if I'm going to survive it's going to have to be done. I have always, ALWAYS been able to respect and care for people while at the same time being annoyed by them or disliking so many of their actions. I don't know why I've been that way, I just know that I have. And because of that, I feel bad talking about someone behind their back when I need to vent. That and a sense of honesty (and hate for hypocrisy) have led me to this social design; people need to start respecting eachother, even when they're angry. We need to be able to tell someone what they've been doing is wrong or annoying and not have people get angry, but rather accept that they COULD be wrong and look into it. If it really is such a big deal, then people can stop hanging out but it doesn't involve all this pointless and idiotic drama that happens in today's world.

Uh, from now on this means I'm going to cally you on being an idiot. ;P But understand I don't mean it on a name-calling level, but on a "here's a weak spot" way to better yourself. And I mean, feel free to call me on those, too. I'll generally go about it in the same (if a bit more confident) polite manner, I'm not out to make enemies or anything.

SO! With all this self discovery, what about New Year's Resolutions and Lent observation? I'm going to exercise more, to stay healthy. I'm going to try to break out of my scared-barrier, and do things I would normally being uncomfortable with. (I got up and went to the Surf Club meeting today, and I want to learn to skateboard this summer. I want to give blood finally, too. I haven't decided if going with my roommies to a club is something I'm afraid of, or if it's just something that's really not me. The latter seems more likely, as I don't dance in the conventional sense [and by that I mean grind] and don't drink. So it's doubtful unless it's a club where people are not only prone to dancing but having intelligent discussions as well.)

AND! I'm going to begin the LJ Audit 2008. =D I will inaugurate it with a new icon, if I can find someone to make it (feel free to make suggestions). As a part of that I will go through and comment on or edit where necessary all my older posts. I will organize my tags and my userinfo as well. Speaking of, feel free to suggest the longest meme-quizzes you know! I'd like to make a "Who am I?" sort of post I can link to for my userinfo, so the more questions there are, the better.

I think it's good to see I'm on the right track for getting away from what I was. Just coming to Hawaii I'd already changed my userinfo and journal subheading. And also trying to write more this year, I think this is a good starting point, seeing as I have a WHOLE ASSLOAD of more everyday stuff that's been piling up that I need to write about. I think my writing is more philosophical than creative--stories just don't come to me so much as objects do. I am a spatial thinker, I think that's part of it. So if anyone has lots of plot bunnies and is not a good putting-them-together person? I'm your man. =D

I think there's something to be said for the Aloha spirit. As my ceramics prof was talking about today, people here (both Chaminade and Hawaii) look at diversity as a good thing, a learning opportunity and a chance to broaden your opinions. People in Dayton (just UD, I don't know) are very nice, I mean there is a strong sense of community. But there is something different here--to me it is most definitely the Aloha spirit--that you can't understand unless you've been here. And I think the world would benefit to learn from it; it's sort of how I've lived my life already (what with the respecting everyone and whatnot).

Yeah, things get complicated and there are a million more details I could write to fill in the cracks. But I think I've done a good enough job for now so feel free to leave me meme-quizzes and icon-maker suggestions if you have any. =^n.n^=

Thoughts and questions and comments are always accepted as well, of course.

OH! Also in honor of all the resurgence of good feelings and whatever, this might as well be my anthem (I felt good listening to it again):



Ironically enough I think they may be a Christian rock band

[EDIT] Here's the lyrics if you're curious )
mercat: (Default)
So, didn’t make Phantom. =( It was definitely not what I expected of their camp, though… our visual auditions were Friday night for an hour and a half, and that was the only check they did for that. No run, no watching us while we played in ensemble. Yeah, and my audition was at 8:00 last night after I cranked on first part all day. No wonder I sounded like shit. Blech. And they didn’t listen to us in ensemble, either. I know I sounded a lot better there and I looked a lot better in ensemble than a lot of the other people, who just kind of stood there.

But… Chris didn’t make it, and Josh isn’t going to callbacks even though he got into it. So, I don’t know where we’re going, but yeah. Phooey. I was really surprised they didn’t take time to talk to each of us a little to check attitudes, or dedication, whatnot. Or at least evaluate us in ensemble… I mean, yeah, there’s 500+ people, but STILL. I think that’s very important, especially compared to just plain old ability to play. And I didn’t look at my visual sheet yet, so I don’t know about that, either.

And then the whole solo judge thing… it’s stupid that they switched judges on us. I knew what the one guy was looking for, to an extent, and that’s how I was ready to play. But no, they switched it to this other guy, who’d been evaluating the “highschoolers” all day. He said I didn’t play it musically enough, but I mean the three or so guys in front of me who went… those were NOT musical, in my opinion, they were just FAKE emotion. And that pisses me off. I kept a steady tempo and tried to keep it light, rather than overblowing and the other bad things I’d noticed in the other guys (like the ones standing behind me, Jesus Christ…), but no. Fuckmuffins.

Yeah, just looked at my visual sheet. Posture? Not broad enough shoulder-wise, and "strength is a concern"?! Oh, and SUBDIVIDE. And "projection." FUCK THIS. I was freaking tired, been in a car all day and it was 9 PM. And did they ever come out to check us in ensemble? NO. But they would have fucking seen I was the ONLY one projecting, thankyouverymuchfucktards. And my slides were goddamn AWESOME.

Yeah, I needed to vent. But seriously, not much to work on from there. Pfft. Craploaders.

And yeah, I was so OUT last night. I was tired and sore, still am. Had a weird dream with this freak-house like place, and this giant fishtank that had holes in it and the floor flooded and I was worried about the water leaking in because it wasn’t coniditoned for the fish. And then I dreamt I picked up my fish from Kay and Mark’s and they had the bowl upside-down and full (?!) and my fish was sick… and then they put it in with their fish and they were fighting. And when I got another bowl ready and was putting medicine and conditioner in each bowl, the one for their fish was squeezing out these clownfish-colored feathery things, and for my fish a green and purple anemone.

I DON’T KNOW EITHER, IT WAS WEEEEIRD.

So in the car on the way home, I read my mom's book, Cancer Vixen... it's really good. One of the semi-serious mantras she had was "Fake it until you make it." Which, I can't say is good all the time, relationships and all, but there are a lot of times when it's what you need to get you through. I would cite examples of a certain friend I discussed with my mom this weeked, but some of you know this person (it's a person who no longer attends Carroll, and I will leave it at that) and it would not be good. Just... they kept saying they were giving up, and I kept saying, the only way to NOT be in a bad mood about doing nothing is to DO something. But no, way to be asstastic and depressed. Fucking emos. Goddamn how I hate illegitimate emotion.

Also, the main character has these personifications of her good and bad sides, kind of like the little shoulder angel/devils. And I was just thinking... I've always been accepting of other religions, and the girl in the book talks to both priests and rabbis to get through her struggles. And Catholicism means universal, and God is in everything, and Catholics are accepting of that which is good and right in all religions (or we're supposed to be), as long as you accept there is one god.

So what if there is one God, or one power, we can't be exactly sure, it's freaking GOD--and he just has his manifestations in everything? I already look at the good in people and my environment most of the time, so why would accepting it all as wonderful and religious be too much different? Does that make sense? Well it does to me.

And I may have written ebout this already, but Sammy wrote in Minge411 on Xanga the other day about how faith isn't proven false in times of need, it's what you have to turn to. And I think that that thought I just had about accepting it all as religious, and being able to acknowledge that all, rather than being cold and not...universal... I think I'm through my phase of questioning. =P

I'm glad something turned out right this weekend.

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mercat

November 2015

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