Thu, Apr. 23rd, 2009, 02:56 am
Today, at the Red Ox, under the alias 'RAICHU,' i got 12,505 point out of 15,000 possible total in trivia. That's a conversion rate of 83.3%! Out of 15 questions, a total of 1,000 points for each, based on speed of answer, I did fairly amazing. I was #1 on the local list of high scores for that particular game type over the last month, and was #72 nationally. I was really proud.
If there's nothing else in the world i'm good at, trivia is my one thing.
Wed, Jan. 14th, 2009, 01:30 am
Your result for The Attachment Style Test...
33% Anxiety Over Abandonment and 13% Avoidance Of Intimacy
You're mostly secure, but sometimes you need a little extra reassurance to make it through the tough times. You are usually affectionate and sweet, and you find it easy to fall in love. An encouraging word from a crush or a loved one can motivate you for weeks.
Fictional character with whom you might identify: Kaylee (Firefly/Serenity), Hiro Nakamura (Heroes)
Take The Attachment Style Test at HelloQuizzy
Sun, Jan. 4th, 2009, 12:31 am
2008 Meme #2
End of the Year Meme
Post the first few lines from the first entry of each month of 2008.
(If it was a link, a video, or a rickroll, i skipped it. Only actual entries go here.) ( 12 MONTHSCollapse )
Ever had that feeling like you’re looking down the barrel of a gun? Ever felt your life flashing before your eyes as you took a deep breath and braced for the end? Let me tell you about the day I almost died in the grocery store.
It was a rather temperate day in May as I arrived at my local Kroger. I walked in coupon in hand and grabbed a cart not at all expecting that this day could have been my last. I walked into the baked goods aisle and grabbed a can of pirouette cookies for my grandmother. Realizing they were a bit expensive, I dug through my wallet making sure I had enough. As I searched, I came across a coupon for five free 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola that I had nearly forgotten about. I smiled and pushed my squeaky wobbly cart towards the beverage aisle.
I turned the corner, entering into a long canyon with walls made of stacked cardboard boxes. I carefully navigated down the desolate aisle, avoiding the display stands that jutted out from the ordinarily smooth walls. As I neared the middle, I stopped in front of the Coca-Cola products and began contemplating which refreshing beverages I should choose. I began carefully reaching for bottles and stacking them in my cart.
Suddenly, i felt the floor tremble beneath my feet. It rumbled once, then again, then again. I watched with the liquid in the bottles ripple dramatically as my horrified reaction was mirrored in the curved plastic. I placed the fifth bottle in my cart and turned to look at the source of these loud stomping noises, surprised to be staring at the largest man i've ever seen in my life. He had to be at least seven and a half feet tall, easily dwarfing my 5'6" self. I stared up into his menacing black eyes as he looked down and loudly boomed, "You KNOW there's a limit, right?!"
I looked down at the lowly number of bottles lying at the bottom of the otherwise empty cart. My confusion was evident as i looked back up at all 400 lbs of him him and declared, "But.. I'm only getting five..."
"Well, you can only get four!" his deep thunderous voice echoed. I raised an eyebrow and looked at him, puzzled. I noticed his silvery grey shirt was trimmed in red and had the Coca-Cola logo embroidered on it. He had been pulling a large flatbed behind him loaded with 12-packs, which was now resting carelessly across the empty aisle, barring the path behind him.
I held out my shaky hand saying, "but.. i have a coupon," presenting it to him. "It says that i can get five free 2-liters.." His mouth was now drawn tightly together in a rather menacing looking frown, and his brows sank further with every sentence. He didn't break eye contact. He didn't even look down at the coupon that i held timidly in front of him.
"It's EXPIRED," he roared as he leaned menacingly towards me. I shrank back a little in fear and tensed up defensively as i prepared to challenge him.
"No... it says here it expires August 31st," I said, steeling my resolve. "It doesn't expire for another few months." I became less afraid of him and more annoyed that he didn't look at the coupon. I stared at him in disbelief.
Passion flared up in his eyes and they black beads burned with a dark intensity. He squinted and asked, "are you calling ME a LIAR?" I froze unsure of what to do and how to neutralize the situation. If there was one thing i didn't need, it was this large, hulking dinosaur of a man staring down at me hungrily, trying to pick a fight. I took a deep breath.
"No sir. I'm just saying that there isn't a limit and that it's not expired." He froze for a moment. I could feel his blood boiling and hear the steam coming out of his ears. I could see a vein bulging from his sweaty forehead as he towered above me.
"ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?" he demanded furiously. I took a step back and grimaced as i felt my face enveloped in his musty breath. I looked quickly behind me and realized that there was no one else in the aisle.
We were alone in the canyon, each challenging the other to a duel. We were standing far closer than ten paces from each other, and it would have seemed apropriate had a tumbleweed blown across the aisle between us. I assumed that the reason there were no onlookers was because they had all dived into nearby windows of saloons for safety. And with good reason, as both of us surely had our hands near our holsters ready for the duel. Realizing i was alone in this, i decided to do the honorable thing. I stood proudly and defiantly as i reached for my metaphorical gun and pulled the trigger.
"Yes sir, I am calling you a liar," i proclaimed. With only silence opposing it, my voice echoed the shot clearly throughout the canyon. We stood frozen in the moment as i considered what i had just done. I had just put my very life on the line for an ideal. I had just decided that i was not for any reason going to let someone larger than me tell me i couldn't have something i knew damn well i could. I had just called someone more than twice my size a liar to their face and was now going to pay the price.
He stared at me angrily for a few moments, then his face softened into a smile. He smiled at me for a second, shook his head, and then started laughing hysterically. This freaked me out as i had been expecting him to fly into a violent rage and kill me. Not knowing what to do i stood there confused. He laughed harder and harder, leaning over, hands on knees to remain standing. As his laughter exploded in loud bursts that must have carried halfway across the store until finally, it came to an end.
He took one more breath, stared curiously at me and said, "You are one tough little shit. Most people don't stand up to me like that. They just put everything back quickly and run away." He put his hand out in friendship, and i shook it gladly. Suddenly, he was no longer terrifying, but a rather jolly outgoing guy instead. We talked for a few minutes about how proud of me he was for being the first one to stand up to him as he began stocking the shelves. We said our goodbyes and i headed proudly to the checkout line with all five bottles in my cart and the coupon in my hand.
No one wants to read a sentence like the one below:
"The exquisitely gradual metamorphisis of Sophia's visage from a resemblance of atrocity to a recreation of an instance of endearment was astounding."
It's not just the large vocabulary dragging large painful words through your mind one after the other. It isn't just the interruption in the flow of the sentence that causes you to forget what you read. It's a combination of these things and more.
Trying to make your writing overly complex in order to seem intelligent only ends up doing quite the opposite. Being a good writer does not mean simply knowing large words and being able to put tons of them into one sentence. Many wonderful writers tend to use smaller simpler words in order to construe very complex and incredible thoughts. Many writers create their own writing style that can sound just as intelligent without forcing it throught ridiculous words. Take this quote from Douglas Adams for example:
"The spaceship hung in the air, much the way a brick doesn't."
There is nothing overly complicated about this. I don't see any large words, nor the sentence being stretched out as long as it can be in order to make it seem like a more interesting and complete thought. This sentence is short and sweet, but it still carries a complexity in it's meaning.
By using large words in places where they do not belong, you only manage to make the persona come off as being arrogant, uninteresting, and dim-witted. If you have a persona who is supposedly well educated and versed, make sure you are correctly using the words yourself in order to keep the idea flowing smoothly and delicately.
Throughout the years timeless classics have been adapted and worked into modern settings in order to be better recieved and understood by current generations. I think this is almost ridiculous because that's the thing about timeless classics, they're timeless.
It's one thing to incorporate the themes and influences of a great literary or film classic, it's another to take a brilliant work like Hamlet and redo it with mermaids or some other silly gimmick just to appeal to a target demographic who have not been exposed to the work and will think it to be your tale. It's one thing to pay homage to a great work by letting it influence the story that you have to tell in subtle, respectful ways, it's another to turn something beautiful into a massacre for the sake of money and fame.
Keeping this in mind, i think that although Mel Gibson seemed to have good intentions, creating the Passion of the Christ also seemed like a wonderful gimmick to obtain obscene amounts of money from a very devoted fanbase. West Side Story, on the other hand, is what i think of as a respectful homage to a great work. It is a classic textbook expamle of bringing a masterpiece to the everyday people so that they can share in it's message.
Our culture certainly is experiencing a trying time when it comes to modern technology and the English language. With all the texting, instant messaging, and informal emailing, the grammar of an entire nation seems to be falling apart at the seams.
It appears that communication being as convenient as it is today, we have lost a lot of the formality in our speech. A lot of people use technology to more quickly confer their points rather than more accurately, and thus have invented their own shorthand, devoid of capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and other important grammatical elements.
Although technology has given us the opportunity to be lazier with our spelling, wording, and grammar, it has also provided us a perfect construct to make us more avid readers and writers. Many average people read blogs. Many others read the morning news from a glowing screen rather than in a paper held above their morning coffee. This is a new era, and it is not that we care any less about grammar because of all the shortcuts available. Many waitresses, engineers, and writers use shorthand and abbreviations when noting things quickly. We have simply developed a comprehensive, interactive language of shorthand for easier conversations.
I believe that technology is making the majority smarter. We now have incredibly easy access to websites like Wikipedia and Google, which are very popular and contain a lot of valuable information (as well as other things). Children are able to access many informational sites from very young ages, play interactive learning games, and even intellectually and socially mature faster because of the unrestircted content available.
One explanation for the lack of grammar is the incredibly personal feeling you get from the internet and from modern communication. A majority of people use the internet to stay in contact with friends and family far away rather than to write articles, publish stories, or discuss important matters publicly.
Our generation has twisted the internet into one giant social site in which we are simultaneously all anonymous contributors and everyone knows everyone. Because of the commonality of human experience, we all understand similar things and can relate. Because it is hard to prove you are credible on the internet, you can be anyone you wish with any opinion. It almost seems like one worldwide living room during the holidays; everyone is shouting out their own ideas louder than the person next to them, people are discussing philosophy, religion, and politics with plain everyday speech. No one is trying to speak politely or correctly because they are too busy thinking about the turkey and stuffing on the table, or the presents under their tree.
Although the contemporary use of grammar in social settings has diminished, i believe that a majority of us are still able to use it correctly. I understand that it is not being taught to our children in schools at young ages as it needs to be, but in what subject area do we not have this problem? Students everywhere are being handicapped by the No Child Left Behind act, which inhibits those who should be able to move ahead and promotes those who should be held back. Students are behind the curve in every subject area, lacking knowledge of state capitals, spelling, grammar, reading, presidents, elements, geography, and more. I think that despite being held back, our generation is adapting accordingly by creating their own language and grammar system because without proper instruction, all they have to go in is what they experience on a day-to-day basis in the comfort of their own homes, and that, my friends, is the information superhighway.
Allow me to refer you to an entry from the past about grammar that coincides with this topic:
(Caution: It was not written for scholarly purposes and thus has some NSFW language.)http://fasteronfire525.livejournal.com/119011.html
The beauty of a single thought is near impossible to describe. It's the gentle sound of temperate summer rain trickling down your eaves. It's the first chilly breeze of fall that makes you tingle down to your marrow, filling your nostrils with delicious crispy smells. It excites the soul and makes your mind dance wildly in unheard of steps to a tune that exists only within.
The thoughts that have been spoken aloud and embraced by all are enchanting, but not the most beautiful. The most incredible type of thought is a secret to the self, a silent ponderance that remains yet untested and unheard. It's not just any thought, it's your own, and when this flash dances through your mind, you must nurture it and give it strength.
As a thought is spoken aloud, it bursts from the lips into existance, having been birthed by confidence and curiousity. As it enters the world, this thought seeps into the ears of nobility and vagabond alike, causing some hearts to stir and some eyebrows to raise skeptically. As the thought is out in the open, it is vulnerable to criticism from even the leas intelligent of our colleagues. It gets picked apart like a book in the hands of an editor until it is reshaped in a way that makes it not one's own thought or idea at all.
Speaking one's mind is the hardest thing to do because we are constantly filtering our thoughts to make them socially, politically, and gramamtically correct. We cannot say what we truly think or feel because there are rules that come with speech and language. We have to be careful not to use words in correctly, to make sure we aren't speaking over the heads of younger or less advanced audiences, and to make sure we use large enough vocabulary in academic circumstances. We have to be careful not to offend, but being a writer you will always offend someone. You need to try to please while trying to speak what you believe is truth.
As a writer, you need to be conscious of these filters, overstep the lines sometimes, if it means truly expressing yourself. We need to be curageous in introducing these thoughts and defend them because they have no way to defend themselves. An idea that you let be criticized and edited is no longer your thought. It grows weak and is changed into something different altogether.
Similarly, man must learn to speak his mind and not be afraid to announce it. Sitting idly by and letting it slip into nothingness is the worst thing one can do. This reminds me of a captivating quote from one of history's finest writers:
"A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
The first highlighted section of the quote discusses the way that we think our own thoughts are less brilliant than others' because they are our own. If we simply let them slip away and do not speak them or write them, we lose the ability to call them ours. Because of the commonality of the human experience, people everywhere in the world are united by experienceing similar circumstances, similar thoughts, similar struggles, similar pains. Just as calculus was invented almost simultaneously by two people thousands of miles apart in different countries, only the one who was first to publish it recieved the credit for invention.
If you do not speak your mind, if you swallow your words and let them fade into nothingness, you can be sure that someone somewhere in the world will have a similar idea. And how beautiful it sounds to hear those words spoken aloud, how intelligent the argument sounds, how delicate and perfect the idea really seems, but at the same time it is humiliating. The shame you feel deep inside for not expressing yourself is intensified ten-fold when you hear someone else praised for speaking the words you long ago pushed away. It is hundreds of times more than the tiny prick of indignation you feel when being criticized or corrected. And i would rather speak my mind any day and stand beside my words than feel the burning of my cheeks as i listen to someone else reciting the forsaken words of my heart.
I decided i was going to play Project 64, but it wasn't on my computer anymore.
Then, i decided, i was going to look for games on my computer.
I found minesweeper.
Let me first say that i was about 15 before i figured out that the numbers meant something.
That was the first year i had a computer.
I played with it for a few rounds, then got bored.
Today, i revisited it, with a loose grasp of how it works.
And i sure stomped the shit out of that game.
This was one of my first attempts.( Find out how good i got..Collapse )
Wed, Nov. 14th, 2007, 06:42 pm
( Quarterlife CrisisCollapse )
:::If you want to skip to the relevant part, go to the big break in paragraphs:::
So my teacher wanted to talk to me after class today. As i was walking out the door, she said "Could i talk to you for a second after class?"
Basically it went down like this: She told me i was a very gifted student
and one of the brightest she's ever taught. She said i'm really talented
, but not arrogant about it and that i grasp high level concepts very easily. I assumed she was going to pin me with the 'not working to potental and not doing homework' thing, but this is not what it was about
She knows i've been student teaching and working my ass off.
Taking 16 credit hours, working, staying up late, and waking up early. She knows i'm in a position that would have caused anyone else to completely buckle under the pressure
. She knows i spent about 5 hours building that engine. And she knows that everyday in her class, no matter how completely interested i am, i manage to doze off for about 10 minutes, and wake up, perfectly grasping whatever we went over during my nap.
We've talked about my future
before, and she knows it's my plan to go around the world teaching English. She told me she's concerned about my future. That wih the talent i have, i could be a doctor or an engineer
. She wasn't saying this to be imposing and act like her life plan fit everyone, we share an interesting kindred spirit
connection, and she actually wants the best for me. She told me i could do anything i put my mind to.
I explained to her that i want to see the world
. That i want to share my love for knowledge
with everyone and that i want to change the world. She told me i could do that in any profession. She was an engineer and communications expert in the navy and has been almost everywhere, and now she's teaching. I highly respect her opinion, but it seemed she was telling me i was too good to be a teacher.
I've met a lot of teachers in my day. Many uneducated and unprofessional ones, many inspiring and thought-provoking
ones. I was hoping i could be the latter. I want to change lives
. I want to make a difference in this world.
She told me that anything i chose to do wouuld make a difference. I then tried to explain it to her again. I tried telling her that i'm the kind of person who knows a little bit about everything, but not a lot about anything. That i am a jack of all trades
and am knowledgeable about everything, but would suffer if i specialized in anything.
She told me that being a teacher meant i had a principal, parents, and other teachers and people i had to listen to. She told me she wants more for me than that
. That i shouldn't have to follow someone elses badly laid plans.
She told me i could be anything i want to be if i just focus my talents
. But she's wrong. And this is why:
I want to be
I want to be a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a detective
, an engineer, a scientist. I want to be an artist, a musician, a writer. I want to be a psychologist, a counselor, a tradesman. I want to be a warrior
, a chef, an athlete. I want to be everything
I want to see
I want to see Greece, Rome, Paris. I want to visit
Japan, China, Russia, Australia. I want to explore
caves, mountains, volcanoes, forests, oceans. I want to traverse
the deserts, the frozen tundras. I want to see Brazil, Portugal, England, Indonesia. I want to go everywhere and see everything.
I want to do
I want to lead a dog team across alaska. I want to scuba dive in the great barrier reef. I want to stand at the top of a volcano and face my fears.
I want to walk in space and parachute out of a plane. I want to travel the world and leave my mark
. I want to have a large family and more friends that i can imagine
. I want to write a book and create a beautiful work of art. I want to do fencing, archery, equestrian, lacrosse, surf, snowboard, ski and every sport imaginable. I want to do everything
I want to know
I want to know how to fix everything
, build everything, and invent things no one has even dreamed of
. I want to learn all there is to know about science, literature, art, mechanics. I want to know how things work. I want to better understand my fellow man. I want to figure out the enigma that is the human being
. I want to know everything
I'm so frustrated because i have so many aspirations
, so many hopes and goals, and no time in this world to reach them all. I cried the whole way home. The whole
way. There'll never be enough time for me to have it all. There's no way. And any profession i choose will feel hollow and empty
because i'm missing out on so much more. Thats about how i feel when trying to order from a menu of a place i'm unfamiliar with. I want to try everything,
but i know i dont have enough time, money, or room in my stomach. Someone please pick for me? No? Well, i guess i'll just have to pick one and let all my hopes and dreams
for a good meal or life ride solely on that one choice and hope i picked the right one. I never know what i want in life. Because i want everything, and i can't have it all.
I have to choose. I need to find my soul mate
I realize that when i'm with someone else, i feel much much more at ease about the future. Having someone to share the rest of my life with
would be ideal. If someone would share their life with me, then i could be 2 things, 2 people. I could be involved in 2 careers, 2 sets of hobbies, have 2 families and 2 sets of friends. I could essentially have 2 lives.
I'm independent and i realize that most of the people i look up to are independent and self made people. But i can't do it all alone
. I lack the resources.
I love my close-knit group of friends and/or my significant others so much because i'm somehow able to live through them
and i feel more complete. I want to be and see and know and do everything. I dont need to have anything. I'm not materialistic, but i'm on a neverending quest
for a wholesome completeness.
I wish i could live to be 200. I wish i had infinite money or that college was free. I wish i could live up to my insane level of potential.
I wish i could hone my skills to perfection in all areas. I love being multi-faceted. I'm frustrated
because i have to make choices that will cut out about 50% of my hopes and dreams. It's devastating to realize i will never be able to be everything i want to be. Absolutely devastating.