I am the Invisible Man!!

I am the Invisible Man!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

(500) Days of Acting

Warning: I may give away parts of movies in this blog. The movies discussed are: (500) Days of Summer, Lord of War, Tin Cup,

I'm currently at work and I just started watching (500) Days Of Summer featuring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It's a very good movie about a relationship, and I would definitely suggest seeing it if you haven't. Wonderfully acted on both the main character's parts, and a wonderfully sad story.

What this blog is about is acting, though, and not so much the movie itself. One of my beliefs about acting, whether it's good or not, is your ability to feel a strong emotion towards a character or not. In (500) DOS, Deschanel does a phenomenal job of making you want to hate her. Just as well does Gordon-Levitt do an excellent job of making you feel so sorry for him. If you have never liked/loved someone and the feelings weren't reciprocated, and you want to know what it feels like, watch this movie, and you'll have a more than vague feeling what it's like.

Speaking of acting that I found to be wonderful, Nicholas Cage in Lord of War. I've never been a huge fan of Nicholas Cage, but his portrayal of a arms dealer in the black market arms trade makes you loathe the core of him. There is a scene towards the end, where he literally lets his brother die just so he can keep making money. Why does he let his brother die?? He lets him die because he tries to stop him from selling weapons that are going to kill innocent refugees. Now my brother and me have never had a great relationship, but there is no way I would willingly let him die for anything let alone because he was trying to stop innocent people from dying.

I've always been a Kevin Costner fan, but one role in particular that is something that always make me feel better is his depiction of a down and out golfer in Tin Cup. He spends the almost the entire movie trying to become good enough to steal away Renee Russo from an old acquaintance/lifelong enemy. He tries to prove that he's the better man by winning the U.S. Open which he painfully loses on the 72nd hole. Luckily, he wins the girl and he doesn't really have to change himself. Why I think it's a superb acting job is because if Roy McAvoy were a real person, I would hope he's just like Costner's version of him.

A side note, while watching the movie (500) Days of Summer, one of my favorite parts just came up where Tom's little sister, played awesomely by Chloe Moretz, made a comment about a fictional man Summer might meet with Jesus' abs. I love the fact that a girl right around her teens fantasizes about a guy with a body like Jesus.

There are plenty of great acting jobs, whether they be in bad or good movies. These actors are what make movies wonderful, and I enjoy watching them.

Hooray Movies!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tween Book Obsession

I've spent the last week rereading the Harry Potter series, and even though I'm 26, it's quite possibly one of the greatest book series I've ever read. It has a great storyline, and great character development, and J.K. Rowling does a phenomenal job of taking the series from a kids series in the first 3 1/2 books and turning it into an for-everybody series over the past 3 1/2 books. I haven't been reading a wide range of books lately, but Deathly Hollows could be the best book I've read in the past few years. A few weeks before that I reread the Twilight series, and was in the same situation of not being able to put the books down.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm slightly worried that at my age, maybe I should be reading slightly more advanced books. I'm not completely worried, because I have at least 2 more friends who have immensely enjoyed the Harry Potter series and another one who loved the Twilight series and they're all in my age range. I guess the thing that really scares me is that I've reread both the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series in the past few weeks and they were the only books I couldn't put down. I literally stayed up all day to read a few of these getting no sleep between work shifts. None of the books outside of these 2 series have captured my mind like these.

Maybe my immaturity has slowly dug in and stayed longer in my reading selections than in any other part of my personality. I wish I could say I've been pulled in my Hemingway and Thoreau, but alas I've been allured most by Meyer and Rowling.

I guess the only thing that makes me not worry about this is that none of the Harry Potter or Twilight books are in my top 3 books of all time. My top 3 is still On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams.

Right now I've moved on to one of the many books in my need to read box, The King of Torts by John Grisham. After 40 some odd pages it seems like a standard Grisham novel, so it should be enjoyed. But not in any similar sense that I have enjoyed either Harry Potter or Twilight. Hopefully one day I will grow up and enjoy reading books like A Tale of Two Cities and War and Peace as much as I like reading Harry Potter, but until that day comes, I will have to make due with Potter and Vampires.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An usual, unhappy realization

I've felt very odd of late. I don't want to say that life has kind of settled into a blur lately because that sounds too depressing. I also don't really want to admit that I've been fairly depressed as of late, but only because I feel it like I would be insulting people who are truly depressed. I have a decent life. I have a job, and a car, and a place to live, and friends. Even though it's not my house and I don't prefer to live there, it's still rent-free, and even though I don't get to see my friends as often as I like, and even though my job has become more of a hassle, all these things I am very grateful for.

The reason behind this blog is not so much a declaration of my problems or of the fact that I'm not exactly thrilled with my current lot in life. More so it is an announcement that I'm not happy with who I think I'm starting to become. I've never been a huge go out and see the world type of person, although I've always wanted to explore more than I do. As of late I have noticed I've become even more shut in than ever, grasping harder to things that our comforts.

The instance that made this obviously aware to me happened just recently. I loaned a book to my friend, a series of 4 books actually. He had a lot on his plate, so I wasn't really surprised that after a long time passed he had yet read them. During his time with my books, another mutual friend asked to borrow the 4th book of the series as she had read the first 3 but didn't have a copy of the 4th. I agreed and noted the transfer of the one book from one friend to the other. The subsequent borrowing was asked at a Halloween party a week prior to Halloween, and I'm guessing the book switched hands shortly after that. I don't want to drag this explanation in such detail, but I feel it's necessary to understand as much of my psyche on the subject as possible.

As I said above, I've become more closed off lately and one of the things I have tried to occupy my time with is reading. I've never been a fast reader, but I've always been able to get through books pretty well when I focus on them. One thing I like about myself when it comes to my reading is although I'm probably slower than most, I tend to get fully engrossed in what I'm reading. Feeling the emotions of the characters, imagining the visuals in my head, letting my imagination take over while I'm reading. If you've ever been around me while I'm reading for pleasure, you will most likely frequently hear or see me react to what I'm reading. I consider this a gift, as I see, allowing me to enjoy reading even more.

So, I have been reading more lately than I have ever in my life. The easiest comparison to make would be to state the facts. I don't have an exact time frame to relay or exact numbers, but I would estimate that from birth to about 19 or 20, I hadn't read more than 30 books, including school. That number of course is not counting the number of children's books that we all read as we're learning the skill. I mean, I probably hadn't read more than 30 books from cognizant age forward, and this is a high estimate. I never took too many English classes in school and the one that involved the most books had me read about 5 or 6 books one semester. However, I've read more than 30 books this year alone. When I really focus on my reading I can pop out a book a day. Since I've really aimed at reading more, I've probably read close to 100 to 150 books, and grown my collection quite considerably.

Finally to bring these two points together, I decided to re-read the books I had lent my friend. When I asked him for the books back so I could absorb their story again, he informed me that he only had the 3 and that the 4th was with our mutual friend. I noted that and figured I had time seeing as how I've been trying to not focus all my time on personal reading. Unfortunately once I started reading this particular story, I couldn't stop. I went as far as to completely change my sleeping patterns to finish these books. I got through the first 3 books in a little more than 3 days. As I finishing the 2nd book, I asked my friend to see if he could retrieve the 4th book seeing as how I would need it soon. He told me he would, and I felt satisfied that I would have my book back shortly seeing as how they worked together.

Over the course of the next 3 days, I hammered my friend with another 4 text message inquiries and more back and forth responses asking about the book. He told me it was coming but for some odd reason that wasn't a gratifying response. I tend to think I have accrued a reasonable amount of patience over the past 26 years that I've been alive, but for some odd reason, I was really unhappy by the fact that I couldn't get my book. Finally after stewing and moping about, feeling like I was forced to read another book in the absence of my much needed 4th installment of the series, which I did read another book, I started to come to this realization that I initially started this blog about. I started to realize how sad it was that I was getting mad at my best friend over a situation that he had no control over. I was blaming him for the fact that I couldn't read that book, to the point where I considered never loaning out a book of mine again. Once I finally got the book back, and have now finished it, I really wonder where this path in life is taking me. I'm not going to lie, reading that book was immensely pleasing, and there is still a part of me that was glad I kept pestering him to get it back to me. But the very vast majority of me is starting to worry about myself.

I don't know, maybe this is all part of life. Learning to find a balance of sorts, I don't know. But I just wanted to get these feelings out of me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A book review

Ever since I decided to leave facebook, I haven't really missed it at all with the exception of having a lot more down time at work. One thing I do miss is my virtual bookshelf which gave me the opportunity to show books I was reading, books I read, and one thing I really enjoyed, reviewing books. Over the course of this past semester, I haven't had too much time for personal reading, but with my semester ending last Tuesday I finally got the chance to finish a book.

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald was a wonderful dark story. It seems to be a character focus for the majority of the book, focusing on the little detailed Jay Gatsby. Nick Carraway, the narrator, moves to a Long Island community known as West Egg, and his neighbor just happens to be the mysterious "Gatsby." After finally meeting him at one of Gatsby's social functions, the next few months are full of excitement, adultery and many rumors of Gatsby's past. It was slow to start, but once the plot started involving Gatsby, I had a hard time putting the book down.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Haiku Heaven

Well, I haven't really been inspired to write much lately, but generally speaking when my mood gets angry or sad, I tend to write better, and lately it's been a whole lot of one or the other. I've never been a fan of writing in a haiku style, but these came to me pretty quickly, and I like them. So here goes

Haiku for Happiness in an Upside-down World
Pointless existence
Wandering through the darkness
Empty soul, alone.
I am without peace
Rage, hate, anger boil inside
No chance of release.
Roadways Bound
My home is nowhere
Searching an endless driveway
Homeless today, still.

Nothing too fantastic, but they captured my mood fairly well at the time they were written, and I kind of like them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hey totally random question

I ran into an old friend on Facebook the other day, and we got to talking. I shouldn't really say friend, we were in high school together, and we knew of each other, but we weren't really friends, and 8 plus years of no contact surprisingly didn't bring us closer.

Now I am usually only online to talk when I'm at work, and I work from 11 PM to 7 AM at a hotel, which limits who I'm able to talk to. So, this conversation that begins around 1:30 AM starts where we're doing the normal catching up questions, like what have you been up to lately?, where do you work?, do you smoke pot?..... Wait, how did the conversation get here?

It was a pretty normal catch-up conversation, at least in terms of my experiences with conversations with people I haven't seen in nearly a decade. The question caught me so off-guard that I just threw a semi-casual, semi-funny response at it, "No, unfortunately I'm only high on life."

Now, normally that would end that specific part of the conversation, and it would move on to another area, or it might go to the other person's reasoning for smoking, or why they like it, and why it should be legal, and f**k the government for not legalizing it, pretty much a conversation that I could add my two cents on, as I can make comfortable conversation with just about any topic.

However, this person retorted with the totally unexpected, "Why unfortunately?" I've always been anti-drug, even though as I've grown older, I've been more susceptible to trying new things, taking any kind of illegal substance has never come up. In all honesty, I would love to go back to my more youthful days, and try drugs, have it be one of the few things I could shrug off later in life as being part of my youthful existence.

Here's my response to the "Why unfortunately?":

well, there have been plenty of times where drugs made sense, but my inner monologue always said no. I've realized as I've gotten older, you only get one chance to experience a lot of things, and it's a lot easier to look back to your younger days and just shrug something off as a fad

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I referred to doing drugs when I was younger as a fad, or that I referred to my own inner monologue guiding me. The conversation eventually moved on, even though it got stuck when I asked her why she wanted to know if I smoked, and she replied because she was looking for a connection, and that she liked it, smoking weed that is.

Once again, Dan "Mr. Awesome Conversationalist" rang in with another generic, "I can imagine." The next few minutes entailed some of the most painful internet messaging I've ever been a part of, and trust me when I say I have had some awkward conversations via IM. We go through a whole mess when she wonders via a '?' response, and I reply that I can understand why she likes it because TV and the media make weed seem like a pretty good drug.

She promptly responds by saying she's not affected by the media, and I say that I wasn't trying to say that she was. We go back and forth a few more times, so I try to spell it out. I said something like, I'm not saying you like it because of what the media says, I'm saying that I can see why you like it though, because the movies and TV shows usually put a positive spin on it. Since the message box isn't open anymore, I'm just guessing what happened next. I ask something to see if we're on the same page, and she says "different page, different book."

Now, the sarcastic side of me wanted to ask if the book was in a different library, but I'm not quite sure she would've caught on to the metaphor. We finally move away from the pot portion of our convo, and chit chat about a mutual friend for a few minutes before she heads off for the night.

What I'm wondering if what I said about the pot being held in a good regard as far as TV shows and movies go was a good thought, or was she right and I just wasn't making any sense.

Hit me up with your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ode to Bob

Long ago, in a universe just like this one, my sister got a cat and named him after her current boyfriend, calling him "Baby (Insert any generic boy's name here, because I wish to be honorable and not mention his name)." I refused to call the cat this, and instantly renamed him Bob. Not to brag, but it seemed to me besides my sister, everyone called the cat Bob.

Bob was a great cat. Everything you expect from a cat when you go to the pet store or animal shelter to get one. He was completely self-sufficient, eventually to the point where he never came inside apart from 5 to 10 minute spurts when he just wanted water or warmth.

Unfortunately, Bob was hit by a car a few weeks ago, and even though I only saw glimpses of him running around outside, or squeaking in and out of the house, I have started to notice the differences in my new Bob-less world. First, let me preface the next part of this story by saying, not too many birds, squirrels or mice used to ever dare roam around or near my house. I can't count how many times I've either seen Bob taking down one of the previous mentioned animals, or seen our dogs fighting over his leftovers.

The other day I literally counted 40+ birds congregating on the front lawn, as well as recently spotting anywhere between 2 and 5 squirrels using the tree in our front yard as their base of operation. While I was counting birds I couldn't help but to smile, which as of late with school and work being really hectic, along with not seeing my friends much at all, has not happened much.

The first thought that popped into my head after counting the birds was, "I hope there are birds and squirrels in Cat heaven, otherwise Bob is going to be really pissed off." For a cat that would rarely let you get close to him, and even more rarely ever pet him, Bob and his death had a rather profound impact on me, and my feelings about the positive light that can be placed on death.

Every time I see a squirrel now prancing along the front lawn, or a bird pecking on our pool deck in the back, I can't help but think that the local neighborhood fauna are rejoicing in the death of poor Bob. And that fact surprisingly makes me smile every time I think about it, because it makes me realize the tremendous impact Bob had on the area surrounding our house. Over the course of the past 5 years or so, I'm sure our house has become known to many local animals as being a death trap for any who get to close. Knowing that animals can now travel around and about my house, as I have seen since the week after Bob's passing, makes me think of Bob, and how great a cat he was.

What surprises me most is how much I think of him now, after having no real attachment to him while he was alive. I end with saying again how great a cat he was, and I hope he's having fun stalking animals of all sorts where ever his spirit is now.

The Dingo's Bookshelf reserved for his favorites

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series
  • The Twilight series
  • The Harry Potter series
  • Fight Club
  • On the Road