Tuesday, December 23, 2003

New verbs, epic movies and miracles

My former roommate Joe and I created a new verb tonight. "To ashcroft". I would explain its meaning here, but I'm afraid of getting ashcrofted. :-P

Anyway, needed to get that off my chest. What's been going on the past week? Well, needless to say, "Return of the King" is the best movie of the year. Epic storytelling at its best, a true masterpiece that kept me riveted even though I pretty much knew exactly what was going to happen. And apparently Peter Jackson cut an hour and a half of footage. I can't wait for the extended edition next year (am I a geek or what?).

Went to a Texans game yesterday, and watched the Texans drive down the field with 2 minutes left to take the lead, only to have the Titans steal it back in the final seconds. Which is fine. Really. The Titans need a better playoff spot, and the Texans need a better draft pick. It worked out better for everyone.

Saw "Bruce Almighty" this evening. It was a funny movie that actually had a message too. Morgan Freeman as God may be the greatest casting decision since Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate". Okay, so I exaggerate. Sue me. Still, the whole thing about stop looking for a miracle and be a miracle was good.

Got some more work done on the novel, including a scene I'm particularly proud of when the hero's id and superego do battle inside his head over the morality of eating a slice of pie. People are already pestering me about seeing results. I'm still working on the first chapter, folks! :-) Alas, that's all for now, take care!

Song lyric of the day:
"New meanings to the words I feed upon
Wake within my veins elements of freedom
Can't break now, 'cause I've been living for this
Won't break now, I'm cleansed with hopefulness"
          -Collective Soul, "Precious Declaration"

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

"Return of the King" tomorrow!

Hooray! Significant progress was made on my novel today. No, the first chapter isn't quite done, but I'm pretty sure the Prologue is where I want it. I've mapped out a lot of what the novel is going to look like, including one chapter that's very likely going to confuse the hell out of a lot of people. But I guess that's the problem when you count Joyce's "Ulysses" among your influences.

This evening, I watched "Lord of the Rings: Two Towers" in preparation for tomorrow, when "Return of the King" hits theaters. Woo hoo! Very exciting times. Anyone who's been around me for the past two weeks knows how much I've been looking forward to this. Of course, "Two Towers" only got me even more pumped up for the movie, not to mention NY Film Critics picked it as their best movie of the year. Hopefully people will remember that I called back in March that "Return of the King" would win the Best Picture Oscar this year, and thus shower with praise and admiration when my prediction comes true.

Otherwise, it's been business as usual. As far as grad school and the future goes, I'm leaning more and more to the side of education, especially since I know math and computer teachers are in extremely short supply. Also, I finished recording the harmony vocals for my song "Rather Just Fly" today (4 vocal tracks! Which really pales in comparison to my friend Bob who recorded 7 for one of his songs, but oh well). My dear former roommate Ben has pointed out this puts Unexpectedly Sober over a full 80-minute CD's worth of material. How much would actually make a decent album, well, that remains to be seen.

Go see "Return of the King" tomorrow, or at least before the weekend is over. That is an order. Peace out y'all.

Song lyric of the day:
"I know you must be upset
I can't find meaning
I'm sorry, we're sorry
We're all scared, all scared"
          -Our Lady Peace, "Is Anybody Home?"

(The song that somehow manages to use the phrase "Nazi breastfeeding"...)

Monday, December 15, 2003

Yippee ki yay, Saddam

I awoke this morning to wish my friend Billy a happy 21st birthday over AIM, and was greeted with the following away message: "FUCK YOU SADDAM! WHERE'S YOUR REPUBLICAN GUARD NOW?"

Yes, Saddam Hussein had at long last been captured. It was good news to me and America, but as I watched the crowds celebrating in the streets in Iraq, I was reminded of precisely why we were there in the first place. Forget weapons of mass destruction. We were trying to free an oppressed people. Of course, as Phil Collins sang, "You could say how many have the freedom, but how many more have died?" which is a good point, but I prefer to focus on the good that we as a country try to do. (Wow, I can't believe I just quoted Phil Collins.)

But as Bush pointed out, there is still evil afoot, and it was represented today by the Dallas Cowboys, who ruthlessly slaughtered my Washington Redskins 27-0. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though far less evil, were still big meanies as they defeated my Houston Texans 16-3. But I just keep reminding myself how much better the draft picks next year will be.

And that's all I have to say about that. Well, not really, but I won't bore you with the rest. Peace.

Song lyric of the day:
"And you never would have thought in the end
How amazing it feels just to live again
Should have said something, but I've said it enough
By the way my words were faded, I'd rather waste some time with you"
          -The Used, "Blue and Yellow"

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Everything, or possibly nothing

Well, the novel I originally set out to write has grown stagnant. It has a great character but still no direction, at least not a satisfying one. Observing that I have nothing to write about, I adopted a new approach: write about everything. And it's actually working so far.

The new novel I've started working on is much less conventional than anything I've ever written before, and while it might not have direction it has more of a purpose for existing. It's stream-of-consciousness that blends fiction and reality as two different planes of fiction. In other words, it's kinda complicated right now, but hopefully as it progresses what I'm going for will become obvious.

In other news, I picked my sister up at the airport today and then she wanted to go see "Elf". It was a fun movie, and Will Ferrell was, as always, a stitch. It kinda fell apart at the end, but overall it was a pretty good holiday movie. Alas, it got my sister in a Christmas mood, so she'll probably be unbearable for a while.

Song lyric of the day:
"Running after you
I don't know where you are
And I can't seem to catch you
I want you to know me"
          -Days of the New, "Weapon and the Wound"

Friday, December 12, 2003

Rock concerts for dogs

Well, I had the house all to myself this evening, so naturally, I sat around all day and did nothing. Had I met anybody (and I do mean anybody) between the ages of 18 and 26 in the last three weeks I would have had a get-together, but Houston is essentially destitute of any variety of youth.

I suppose the day wasn't entirely fruitless however. I set up my amplifier in the downstairs living room and played a concert for my 14-year-old basset hound who, luckily for her, is more or less deaf. Then tonight I watched a movie called "Bandits" with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, which was a pretty clever farce about two bank robbers who accidentally kidnap a woman and then both fall in love with her.

As of now, I'm chatting with a friend. More accurately, I'm chatting with someone else over a friend's IM who's saying vulgar things in an attempt to shock me. Little does she -- I assume it's a she due to vaginal references -- little does she know that I'm virtually unshockable. Mwa ha ha!

Song lyric of the day:
"And I wonder, when I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again"
          -Foo Fighters, "Everlong"

(The answer remains an incertain yes, but who knows when?)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

The magical world of numerology

What's in a name? Ed Kowalcyzk of Live answers "Shame" in the song "Rattlesnake". Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day yells "Hey!" after asking the question in "Fashion Victim". I was offered still another alternative today by the idea of numerology.

Numerology converts the letters in your name to numbers via mathematical methods and describes your personality based on those methods. It also does an analysis based on birthdate. It started off interesting, but by the end interesting was all it was. Neither insightful nor consistent, it served as a fun distraction and provided a few moments of introspection, nothing more.

Anyway, my analysis of the findings: for starters, one of the negative aspects of both my life path number and my expression number (these are technical terms of course) is close-mindedness and intolerance. Everyone who knows me is laughing now, because they know that those are two things I have very little patience for (though it should be admitted that I force myself to tolerate intolerance because if I were intolerant of intolerance I would get caught in a crazy paradox).

However, the positive aspects include trustworthy, down-to-earth, loyalty, and devotion, which are qualities I hope to have. Let me know if I'm lacking...

Apparently, I also have a "natural flare for big business and the commercial world". Strange for somebody strongly considering education and academia as his future. This is probably due a little to the fact that I share a name with my father, the businessman.

Visit www.kabalarians.com or www.astrology-numerology.com for more info.

Song lyric of the day:
"At least I'm breathing
At least I'm alive
As long as I'm dreaming
Everything will be alright"
          -Eve 6, "At Least We're Dreaming"

Monday, December 08, 2003

A Tale of Two Days of Football

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of college, it was the age of professionalism. It was Saturday, it was Sunday. So describes the weekend of football. Saturday was a most glorious day, Sunday brought nought but despair.

Saturday, to recap: nothing but good news. Notre Dame lost, USC beat Oregon State, Oklahoma got trounced by Kansas State, and above all, Navy beat Army. All was right with the world.

Then came Sunday. The only positive outcome was the Redskins victory over the Giants, and even this was negative because Washington should be playing for a better draft pick at this point. The Texans lost, the Titans lost, and the BCS results were released, revealing that, in spite of Oklahoma's horribly pathetic loss, they were advancing to the BCS championship, leaving USC destitute in spite of being #1 in both polls.

I'm devastated beyond belief. I'm not even sure I can continue. I suppose I can take solace in Denver's destruction of Kansas City.

Oh well, I had too many margaritas tonight anyway :-P

Song lyric of the day:
"I asked her what we're gonna do tonight
She said 'Cahuenga Langa-Langa-Shoe Box Soup'
We better keep tryin' till we get it right"
          Traveling Wilburys, "Margarita"

Friday, December 05, 2003

William Shatner and other odd anomalies

Interesting past few days... I've been going a little nuts on recording music. Yesterday I recorded a song my former roommate Ben wrote called "My Perfect Plan". It starts out describing how the perfect plan for finding Ms. Right is to sit around waiting for the right woman to come along and never taking action to find her. Then the plan hits a snag. Tough to describe, fun as hell to sing and play. It came out pretty good, but still needs work.

Today I recorded very rudimentary versions of two of my songs. "Rather Just Fly" is a stream-of-consciousness song I wrote about the then-impending graduation and what was to come next. "Torn Apart" features one of my favorite lyrics I've written: "I cannot be together / I'm always torn apart / I'm afraid I'd have the same effect on her heart." That pretty much summarizes the whole song. The former has a pretty nifty lead part, but the latter still needs one.

So it's pretty much been business as usual for me. However, a few things of note today:

1) My friends David and Liz saw William Shatner at Ken's Sushi in Nashville. We can only theorize he's in town recording a new album.

2) Talked to my best friend from high school, Ricky. He painted his face and wore pom poms in his hair for the Virginia Tech basketball game. The mental image is just too hilarious, so I offer it up to those of you who are lucky enough to know him.

3) It snowed in DC today, and I wore shorts here in Houston. Sigh...

Was gonna try and go up to Austin this weekend to hang with Scott and Ames and whoever else, but I really need to sit down and sort out grad school stuff. Plus, I'm low on cash. And I refuse to take Banecker's advice on how to make money. Of course.

Song lyric of the day:
"It's amazing
In the blink of an eye, you finally see the light
It's amazing
When the moment arrives, don't you know you'll be alright"
          -Aerosmith, "Amazing"

Monday, December 01, 2003

Crappy 80s madness

Well, another football Sunday's come and gone, with mixed success: the Texans won, but the Redskins lost. The Patriots-Colts game was one for the ages, with the Pats staging an amazing goalline stand in the closing seconds to win it. Another exciting bit of news is Navy got a bid to the Houston Bowl, which they will no doubt accept. Hopefully they will win the Commander-in-Chief trophy next week against Army. I can't remember how long it's been.

However, all was not good news in sports this weekend. Virginia Tech lost to Virginia, effectively dropping out of the top 25 when I thought they had a good shot at the Sugar Bowl. That's still not the worst news, though. The worst news is the impending Yankees' deal with Gary Sheffield, which is a double whammy: not only do my Braves lost Sheffield, but he goes to the friggin' Yankees.

Anyway, enough about sports. I had a good Thanksgiving weekend, with one of the best Turkey Day dinners I've had in a while. Plus, the Cowboys lost, which left me in a good mood. The one downside was that my entire family was sick. Except for me. I don't seem to get sick ever anymore (ignoring a few cat fiascos, Jeff and Danielle). I think I'm immune to common illnesses.

Unfortunately, one thing I'm not immune to is random musical moods. To my horror, I somehow slipped into a crappy 80's love song mood tonight. Every so often, these moods seem to come out of nowhere and overwhelm me for an hour or so. We're talking songs like "You're the Inspiration" or "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight". Go West's "King of Wishful Thinking" and Restless Heart's "When She Cries" also made appearances. It got pretty bad.

But, like everything, this too shall pass. :-)

Song lyric of the day:
"I know this shall pass
As long as my time comes, I don't mind being last
And someday I'll be sure
As long as there's a light, I know I can endure"
          -Unexpectedly Sober, "Endure"