Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Little About Myself

I'm an introvert, and I'm not a particularly interesting introvert either.

To be fair, interesting introverts would be people who hoard trash or psychopaths who skin squirrels on their free time. They'd be interesting to read about, but I wouldn't want to sit next to them on a bus. By the way, if you're on the same bus as them, you should be concerned about where you're headed.

No, I'm fairly normal, and I wouldn't divulge severely abnormal things about myself on the internet. Trust me, I have a few good ones, but that's between me and my doctor, and prospective therapists.

I slightly digressed.

It's weird how people define themselves and what they present to the general public as their self-identity. Some define themselves by their past or missed potential while others are more concerned with their looks, or their job, or their education. I wonder how much of it is intentional.

In today's post, I'm going to write a little about myself. None of it is important. I think it's weird that people need to be asked or tagged to tell random facts about themselves, it's like their looking for permission or an excuse to write about themselves on their own blog.

It's a blog. What else would you write about?

Personally, I don't think anyone's going to read this post because it doesn't involve Snoopy or a picture of a dog. I've looked at my stats; those are the only two posts with views.

First fact, I love movies. I think movies are more than just escapism; they're like mutually sharing memories with everyone in the theater or anyone who's ever seen the film. It's different from reading a book because your prescription of the novel depends on how you read it, whether it's read in one sitting or it's spread out over several weeks. Songs are the same way because their meaning can change depending on where you hear it or how you feel while listening to the music. Movies are different. Movies transports people into the lives and struggles of the protagonist, and at that very moment, everyone in the audience can share the same experience with the same actions and emotions as the person sitting next to them. It's like connecting with a group of stranger without knowing anything else about them except that one moment.

I'm watching 'Before Sunrise' again. I've seen in several times, it's one of my favorite movies. And although I love this movie, I'm mainly watching it because I'm extremely indecisive. I spent roughly an hour and a half looking through dozens of movies to watch before I started writing this post. I think it's my romanticism of movies, but I love browsing through movies and thinking about their plots and how they made me feel if I've seen them. It's like looking through past thoughts that have been long forgotten.

Usually I prefer dramas or independent romantic comedies. I like movies that make you feel like you gained some insight or knowledge about life, even if it's just a different perspective. And although I love compelling transcendental stories and characters, my favorite genre would have to be talking dogs. Think about it. Talking dogs are awesome. I thought 'Bolt' was amazing, 'Up' is easily my favorite Pixar movie, and I couldn't imagine my childhood without watching 'Homeward Bound' several dozen times.

I love pets. My family has had several dogs, a couple of hamsters, two chameleons, a turtle, a rabbit, and a few fishes. The fishes never lasted more than few days because I think we forgot to untie their plastic bags or we didn't lift them above the store's security doors. I've always loved dogs. They're sturdy. Playing with my parent's dog, Sam, is one of my favorite things to do when I visit home. It's such an unconditional love that's expressed without humility or repercussions. I think everyone regresses into a child when they talk about their beloved pets.

I had a few more things, but it's getting pretty late. Plus, there should be a little mystery saved for further discussions. In a way, I think that's one of life's beauties, the small attempt to connect and understand one another. Blogs might seem like repetitive, superficial information about strangers, but maybe the attempt to connect with people is all that matters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Basic Food Groups

I'm watching 'Lost in Translation.' It's great because I left to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I'm confident that I didn't miss anything. Recently, I noticed that the fast food restaurant on campus offers free jelly packets for their breakfast meals. Usually I buy a small container of peanut butter and sliced bread to make ham and cheese sandwiches so it was only a matter of time. I honestly believe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches has been the best invention since sliced bread, it's like the next evolutionary step in lunches. Actually, I believe bottled water is the best invention since sliced bread. It's such a weird cultural phenomenon.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are so much better than peanut butter sandwiches. My university used to sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a dollar, and I used to think they were the best deals on campus. It was a great until other people started buying them, and they would sell out before noon. It was a weird balance between over sleeping and starving over cheap meals. College.

I tried a ramen noodle diet for several weeks, but I felt lethargic and light headed on a regular bases. That's when I realized a meal that cost less than a gumball probably wasn't a great idea.

You have to starve for your art sometimes, especially if you're a double science major with a minor in science.

If you prefer to eat, consider taking Plant Economics in college. At my university, we've tried everything that's edible and pertains to plant, except alcohol. You have to wait until after class to consume alcohol. We've tried several different nuts and peas and juices. We made bread yesterday, and if the lab wasn't so long and I didn't spend a couple hours in lectures and inoculating bacteria in clinical microbiology, it might have been a fun experience. At least our loaves turned out good.

I don't have a witty way to end this post, but I think I'll have a sugar-free fruit cup for desert.

**I tried to draw a food pyramid, but I failed miserable. You should thank me for sticking to dogs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My name is Sam...

I spent a ridiculous amount of time drawing and editing this picture, you don't even want to know.
I made this picture to commemorate my video receiving a million views
...and I haven't played with Paint in a while
[Updated Sept. 15] .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Insist, After You.

Another post?

I try to over compensate.

Actually, I'm planning to write an email to a friend, and I'm a little rusty with my writing skills since I haven't typed anything or had an original thought in several months. It's weird how my inner monologue tends to mimic the narrative style of the most recent book I've read. Unfortunately, the most recent novel I've read was a whining tale of teenage angst.

I really didn't like that book.

Usually when I'm into a book, I try to finish reading it in one or two sittings. That being said, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a hassle. I would have used a different word, but some people might have been offended. I read the first twenty to fifty pages in the library and then I bought a used copy from the half price bookstore. The next day was a blur where I spent most of my time either reading in bed or on my desk chair. I remembered I stopped once to warm-up a can of ravioli. I'm sure my copy of The Deathly Hollows still has several stains of meat sauce. I'm that classy.

There were very few books that interested me in middle school, but I specifically remember one novel that captivated my attention from cover to cover. It was a very dumb book; I'm not even going to look up the title. The novel revolved around a colony of talking lemmings who were approaching the fateful day where they all committed suicide. If you haven't heard the common misconception about lemmings, they're cute furry rodents who run off cliffs in mass hoards for no apparent reason. The protagonist of the novel curiously wondered why they all committed mass suicide, and every lemming he asked, whether they were young or old, told him the same thing, 'We've always jumped off cliffs; it's just something lemmings do.' It was very unsettling for the lemming, but when it was time, he felt the sudden urge to run. And while he ran, other lemmings joined him until the whole colony was around him and they were all headed toward the cliffs. And at the very tip of the cliff, he had a sudden urge to live. He scurried past the waves and waves of lemmings plunging toward their deaths, and when he approached his family's burrows, he saw that all of the young infant lemmings were left to restart the colony and the older lemmings had died to insure enough resources for the next generation. One of the infants asked if protagonist the was going to help them rebuild, and he said that he needed to find his own place in the world. He wasn't a lemming anymore because he didn't jump off cliffs; he survived. It was a very short book, roughly a hundred pages.

I'm sure the book was about peer pressure or self identity or something, but I've never really thought about it. I was just easily amused, and I had a soft spot for talking animals.

Sometimes when I write, I wonder if I'm being original by preserving my thoughts and feelings instead of passively letting them slip through my consciousness like everyone else. I guess it's weird that I'm in early twenties, about one year away from graduating college with two science degrees, but I'm still fixated on writing stories and creating characters with depth and emotions. I wonder if I'm being progressive or regressive with my thoughts and ideas, and when I approach my metaphoric cliff, if I'll jump, stay an adolescent, or become something else.

These are just a few thoughts stirred from a short book that I read several years ago.

During a Break

I’m writing this while downloading a movie. I’d consider it multitasking, but since my internet is so slow, it’s equivalent to breathing while sleeping. It’s still multitasking.

It’s weird that I’m trying to write and listen to a movie at the same time because lately my head has felt congested and I haven’t been able to think clearly. After sniffling in class one day, a classmate asked if I was sick, and she explained that she’s been sick since her roommate had a cold or something. That was my first suspicion that my dry, bleeding nose might be connected to my headaches and drowsiness. I think I’ve been sick for a while.

I think the worst part about being sick is whenever other people don’t notice it, which makes me self-conscious that my voice normally sounds disjointed and crackled, and I wonder if I usually have snot dripping down my nose. When people ask if I feel better, I want to know if I honestly look the way I feel. I think I play it off well.

I’m ten minutes into the movie, and it’s not that great; I guess its background noise. I considered watching Spring Forward, but I’ve seen it several times. I’m currently watching an independent film about backpacking called Southbounders. It was between this movie and another independent film about a road trip. I guess I’m in a travel mood.

I hate that point in a movie or book where you’re convinced that you won’t like it, but you’ve already gone too far to stop. It’s like the distance you’ve traveled before it’s too late to get something you’ve forgot in your bedroom. I think everyone has their limit. My limit is across the street; if I’ve already crossed the street then it’s too late; game over.


A few weeks ago, I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and I recently finished Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s an odd pairing; I planned to read both of them during my short summer break, but The Lovely Bones was longer than expected. In summery, I didn’t like either of them.

(Slight spoiler)

The Lovely Bones was okay, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Half of the novel was riveting with the author’s intricate control of creating the vivid life and world of Susie Salmon, the protagonist. Ultimately, it shifted away from becoming a suspenseful murder mystery and settled into a story about moving on past the death of a loved one. Midway through the novel, the character development fizzled out, and you’re left skimming through the lives of less developed, one dimensional characters that were not particularly interesting. I understand that the author had to convey that the lives of Susie's loved ones went on past her death, but it still felt unsettling and less engaging than the first portion of the book.

(No spoiler, except he cries a lot)

There were several complaints about Perks of Being a Wallflower. As it’s mentioned in several reviews on, Charlie, the main character, wasn’t actually a wallflower. He had friends and experienced drugs and parties and went to dances. If Charlie was a wallflower in high school, I was either a pebble or a dust ball. Personally, I’d define a wallflower as someone who’s socially awkward, easily nervous, and an unintentional loner. At no point did Charlie ever seemed nervous or socially awkward; he just felt apathetic and naive. Also, Charlie wasn’t a believable fifteen years old. The author intentionally improved the narrator’s grammar and spelling to convey Charlie’s maturity, but the sentences in the beginning of the novel felt too simple and choppy, and it limited my ability to relate to him as a character. Most times the narrative felt like an adult attempting to sound like a child. It's hard to perceive Charlie as a bright, gifted writer when the author included so many run on sentences and Charlie continued to have a naive perspective of the world. Although most teenagers are insecure and self-deprecating with their problems, they have a sense of depth and rationality to their actions and thoughts. Instead of elaborating about his emotions, Charlie cried. He cried a lot. He cried often and without humility. I'm usually a very empathetic person, but someone needed to tell him to stop. I felt that instead of conveying how Charlie felt or drawing readers into the emotional depth of the moment, the author blatantly wrote, '...and then I cried.' After I read so many reviews that claimed this book changed and affirmed people's lives, I honestly hope I missed something. I’d hate to think this book became popular with a cult following due to name dropping pop culture references, famous books, and excessive drug use. I’d hate to assume it's famous just because it’s a banned book. To be fair, the book had moments of insightful melancholy, but it never expanded into genuine character development of the protagonist. Also, I thought the book properly addressed homosexuality and I can see how gay teenagers could relate to the character, but it wasn't anything deeper or more engaging than an after school melodrama such as Dawson's Creek.

Southbounders was an okay movie. It felt a little too campy in the beginning, pardon the pun, but it gradually became better. It was very independent with less experienced actors, modest picture quality, and poor sound design. That being said, they filmed majority of the movie outside, which would have compromised the resolution for most indie films. It wasn’t transcendent or life affirming, but it was background noise. It was okay.