Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Life is not the way its suppose to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

I’ve been going to the gym for about six and half months now, and I’ve found one of the most boring things you could do is the elliptical machine. I do it, because honestly, I need a good bought of cardio if I want to lose weight. And being a larger fellow, I found it’s easiest on the knees. But I digress. I’m stuck on the torture device for about a half hour at a time, with nothing to really stare it. Well, I guess they have multitudes of TVs on different stations to mesmerize you, but you need a set of headphones to actually listen to them. I’m not a fan of having something covering my ears like that when I’m exercising.
So, at some point, I’ve come to enjoy a little something I call Gym Watching. I find it rather a rather interesting implement of observation. If you go to a certain place long enough and just watch your surroundings, like I have with the gym, you start to recognize the people who come and go on a regular bases, who they come in with, what they like to work out on, and a few of their idiosyncrasies. I think it’s fascinating to see how people create their own little bubbles to make themselves comfortable amidst strangers. I do realize that one stares at someone to long, it can be determined as rather creepy and weird, so I don’t observe for any long durations.
But I’ve come to find out that peoples personal little bubble fields extend only so far. For a few weeks, I tried to randomize which elliptical machine I used. I found that, unless it’s really busy and they don’t have a choice, when multiple people use the same type of exercise machine, they usually place themselves on every other machine to as far apart as they can get. I don’t know if it’s an ingrained sense of don’t talk to strangers that your parents whipped into you when you were young, or that people have a natural deep dark fear of that unknown stranger at the gym.
Don’t get me wrong. People at the gym, more often than not, are really quite nice and courteous. I have more than once witnessed people help others. There are the occasional gym rat douches that are just trying way too hard, but that’s not the norm. I’m just noticing that in large groups, people revert to an inner caution, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But that shouldn’t stop you from letting go.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unless you believe, you will not understand.

There was an article posted by a friend the other day over on MTV Newsroom about something I never knew about; Wizard Rock! There was an apprehensive "Um, ok" moment while I read the article. Most of the bands they list at the bottom of the page, I’ve never heard of. Deciding it couldn’t hurt at all; I started to plug some of them into Pandora, the internet radio station.
As I listened to what Pandora brought up, I couldn’t believe I never heard of those glorious Heavy Metal Bands singing about epic fantasy and magic and warriors of might. For the last couple of days, I’ve been listening to it a lot. It makes me want to run through the fields, with the wind blowing through my hair and sword in hand, to do great deeds just so that someone might write a rocking metal song about me.
Granted, this isn’t for everybody. In fact, it might be for only a select few. But it appeals to my sense of awesome and greatness. Now to get the song “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie out of my head. Back to Pandora for another dose of Metal to help.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"There is no indignity in being afraid to die, but there is a terrible shame in being afraid to live." Alydon, in "The Daleks"; Doctor Who series

For as long as I’ve known, I’ve never really liked British TV Programming. I’ve seen a little hear, a little there, but I never really grew fond of it. I can’t pin it on a specific thing really, like the humor, or the production, but I never really got it. For awhile, I liked being the only Anglophobic out of my social group just too see my friends’ gawf at my antianglo tendencies. But recently (probably within the last year), my attitude has started to change a little. Through discussions of popular British shows and friends sending me clips of funny scenes, I’ve started to warm up a little too actually thinking about watching something from across the pond.
My first real experience was viewing one of the seasons of Top Gear, a show dedicated to cars. Needless to say, it was quite interesting. I like cars, but I’ve never really been into them so much to the point where I could tell the specific horsepower of a specific model gets or how many seconds it can go from 0 to 60 in. Top Gear will definitely appeal to those types of people. But that’s only half the show. The other half seems to be the Cast trying to implement “I’ve got a crazy idea; now let’s see if we can get a car to do it!” From racing different types of British buses, making a car able to float across the English Channel, to can they make an old p.o.s. car make it across an African desert. It usually turns into quite an ordeal, and then hilarious ensues. I’ve liked it enough that I need to track down more seasons of it.
Until I do, I’m watching the new incarnation of Doctor Who. I’m currently about half way through the second season, and I rather do like it. They have rather clever plot device where if the current actor playing the Doctor is no longer with the show, they can bring a new actor on board without a glitch of any sort. I’m currently on my second Doctor, played by David Tennant. As of the moment, I like the Christopher Eccleston (the first) version of the Doctor a little bit more at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I like the job Tennant is doing. I don’t know if I just got use Eccleston as being the Doctor since he was the one they started with in the new series (I’m a big fan of continuity) or what. They both portray the genius and slight insanity of the Doctor rather well, but to me Eccleston has more of a solid presence on screen. The best way I can describe the difference is Eccleston is more akin to a rabid wolf and Tennant is like a cornered badger; both things you wouldn’t want to deal with.
I may yet grow to like David Tennant more as the Doctor (he’s in it for a couple more seasons) because he does do a rather fine job. Time will only tell. As long as I don’t overdo it, I think I may yet come to love British television as much as the rest of them. Just as long as it doesn’t involve me having to watch Red Dwarf.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"...London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained." - Dr. Watson

I recently had the pleasure of viewing the movie Sherlock Holmes in the theater last week, and I wasn’t disappointed. To my mind, it was rather well done. The dialogue was witty throughout without becoming overly cheesy. Robert Downey Jr., a rather solid choice, played a believable manic Holmes and I rather liked Jude Laws portrayal of Watson instead of the portly henchman he’s been played as before. Rachel McAdams character was rather underwhelming, and because of such, was usually pushed aside by the other greater performances.
I’ve heard that people didn’t think it was as true to the Character of Holmes that were in the books and there was too much brawling and explosions for its own good (and on a side note, I thought it really added something to the movie). I can’t give a definitive response to this because I’ve only read one Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of The Baskervilles, and that was 10 years ago in High School. But one of my friendly acquaintances, who is an English Major and have read several of the stories, was of the opinion that this version of Holmes was truer to the one in the stories than any of the previous incarnations. If you have any qualms about seeing Sherlock Holmes in the theaters, it definitely is worth a cheap seat or two. 3.5/5 stars.
Update: I went and saw Avatar again, but this time in 3D. If you haven’t seen this film already, go and see it now I 3D! I might have to give it an extra half a star for being such a great looking film.