Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year, Same Neuroses

So, it's been a while. Anyone who communicates with me in any online forum probably has noticed I sort of dropped off the face of the Earth. Yeah, I tend to do that during holidays and stuff. I haven't even read my email. Sorry. I needed some serious decompression time, which for me meant no internet, catching up on sleep, and eating my weight in Christmas cookies. (Being a Festivus guy, I really don't celebrate Christmas whole-heartedly, but I'll be damned if I can pass up a cookie)

Anyway, a new year is starting soon. As I type this, it's 15 minutes from midnight, and I've started thinking about my resolutions. I usually don't bother, but I wanted this year to be different. So, here we go.

For starters, I've decided to get back to writing more regularly. I'm going to have more time on my hands now, as I'm taking some time off from school. I'll talk more about that in a future post. Anyway, I've already got a new page of my short story The Zed Word, and I'm working on the next few, so I'll be taking Paradigm Theater off hiatus sometime later this week. Links will follow.

Second, as well as writing, I figure I should do more reading. So, following the Twilight Zone marathon, I'm going to cut down on TV time. I've bought a few books, so I'll have no shortage of material.

Third, I'm going to start working out. Aside from the fact that I'm built like Spongebob Squarepants, I hear that physical activity is good for endorphine levels, so getting back on a solid workout plan would probably do me a world of good, both physically and mentally.

Lastly, and this is kind of difficult for me, I've decided that I need to work on coming out of my shell more. Easier said than done, but I think my past semester at Marist is proof enough that I'm still way too repressed for my own good. I have some serious anger issues, specifically of the implosive variety. I often don't express how I really feel for fear of offending others, but all this work to stay out of people's way is having a toxic effect on my state of mind.

So, in the coming weeks, I'm going to work on shovelling some skeletons out of my closet. For example, I really need talk with/about a certain ex-roommate of mine, who will go unnamed because I know he can't stand it when I so much as mention him in any online forum. If you're reading this, dude, I'm sorry. I didn't have the balls to come out and talk to you face to face when I had the chance, and I really feel like we need to clear the air. I'll probably be stopping by Marist for a brief outing in the spring sometime, so hopefully we'll be able to do this in person.

Well, I guess that's about it for now. If anyone has any resolutions of their own, I'd love to hear them. Plus, this blog's depressingly low on comments, so lemme hear what you're doing different in '08, or just comment on my resolutions.

Thanks for reading, and happy new year, guys. Stay loose.

Monday, December 17, 2007

To All Facebook Members

Some of you may have seen a message circulating Facebook which is signed: "Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg". It reads as follows:

"Attention all Facebook membeRs.
Facebook is recently becoming very overpopulated,
There have been many members complaining that Facebook
is becoming very slow.Record shows that the reason is
that there are too many non-active Facebook members
And on the other side too many new Facebook members.
We will be sending this messages around to see if the
Members are active or not,If you're active please send
to other users using Copy+Paste to show that you are active
Those who do not send this message within 2 weeks,
The user will be deleted without hesitation to create more space,
If Facebook is still overpopulated we kindly ask for donations but until then send this message to all your friends and make sure you send
this message to show me that your active and not deleted."

It apparently calls on everyone who gets it to forward it to everyone they know, and claims that their account will be deleted if they don't do this within 2 weeks.

Let me be blunt: this is the stupidest prank I've seen on Facebook in a long time. And believe me, I've seen a lot. If anyone gets this joke message claiming to be from Mark Zuckerberg, please do not forward it.

Now, to anyone who already forwarded it, or who isn't convinced it's a joke, let me point a few things out:
  • First, the fact that the word members is spelled "memberRs" in the message should've been a dead giveaway.
  • Second, I'm no programming genius, but I'm pretty sure there are better ways to see who is active on Facebook besides a viral wall post.
  • Third, if this were really from the creator of Facebook, he wouldn't be perpetuating it through apps like Funwall, which everyone doesn't have installed. He'd probably send a mass mail to everyone's inbox.

Thanks for your attention, everyone. Take it easy, guys and gals. And to the person who started this prank: go sit in the corner, dumbass.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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Sci-fi Movie Reviews: Part Deux

I seriously doubt I spelled that right.

Eight-Legged Freaks
I saw it Monday night, and I have a hard time forming an opinion about it. The effects and acting weren't too bad, but the story itself just made so little sense I was baffled by it.

--(Spoilers Ahead)--

The ending, of course, involved a steriotypical chase scene followed by the spiders getting blown up. Probably the most cliched way to end one of these movies. And, of course, the authorities don't show up until after they're all dead.

Still, there were a lot of parts that indicated to me that the writer really wasn't taking it seriously. The whole "listen to the kid" thing harkens to countless other sci-fi movies, so it's obviously making fun of the genre.

One more thing: the guy who tried to sex up the sheriff's daughter, but wound up getting tasered in the groin. Seriously, he should've been dead as soon as the spiders showed up. He not only outran them on his bike while all his buddies died, but he superkicked one of them while he and his bike hung in midair after a huge jump.

As if that wasn't enough, he jumped in front of an oncoming fuel truck, which caused the spiders to slam right into it, causing a chain reaction knocking over the power lines and blowing up the whole thing, killing the whole first wave of spiders. A character as inconsequential as that kid has NO right to be that badass. Hell, the main f'ing character didn't do anything that cool.

And it goes on. He tries to escape them by driving into the mines. That's where the spiders have been living the whole time. And yet, somehow, he's still riding around in circles trying to find his way out when everyone else shows up later. Call me cruel, but I couldn't help but think, "Dude, why the hell are you still alive?"

So, overall, not my favorite movie. It was okay in some parts, but really not a wholly satisfying movie. I mainly watched to the end out of boredom, not because I gave a crap. So, if you ever see this one on late night TV, only watch it if there's absolutely nothing else on. It might be good for a laugh if you're drunk, but there's probably something better out there.

Surgical Procedure Review

A bit off from my usual topics, but I figured this was worth mentioning. I personally have no use for this procedure I'm about to talk about, but I figure I've got at least a few obese readers, so if you're one of them, and you want help losing weight, this might interest you.

Yeah, so basically, I'm pimping Journeylite's website. Before I start in, here's their mission statement:

"Journeylite is a nationwide network of lap band surgical facilities and surgeons who specialize in the LAPBAND procedure for the surgical treatment of obesity. Facilities conveniently located in Los Angeles LA, Houston Texas and Tampa Florida."

For those not in the know, LAPBAND is a relatively new procedure that they use to treat obesity. I have to admit, though, it sounded a little weird to me. The way they describe it, the procedure is basically to tie off a smaller section of your stomach, making food travel through it more slowly. It's almost like having separate stomachs. Sounds cool and all, but it also gives me an excuse to compare you to a cow.

So, this is definitely a bit on the creepy side, but it's apparently pretty innocuous, using very small incisions and instruments. Plus, the logic is there. One of the problems many people have with losing weight is that they're still hungry after eating the amount recommended for their diet. With this, it's like their stomach is smaller, so they can feel satisfied after eating less, and are less prone to overeating in the future.

So, yeah, this sounds pretty cool. It might not be a good option for everyone, though. I mean, if you're just trying to lose a couple pounds for the summer, this might be a little radical. But, if you're seriously obese and your health is suffering because of it, this might be a good option for you to consider.

If you want to learn more about the lap band, here's a link to Journeylite's main website.

lapband los angeles

(This is a sponsored post. Following this date, I am implementing a new disclosure policy, which should be linked to in the sidebar)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sci-fi Movie Reviews

A few matters to mention today before I start into my main post. First, I love the British.

Seriously, I love the British.

Second, a brief God Hand update. I beat God Hand on Hard Mode. That means I now have all 4 CDs for the jukebox, and the only thing I'm lacking are the trailers for beating challenge #51. Seriously, this is harder than the final boss on Hard mode, if you can picture that.

Third, Schunk owes me money. More on this story as it develops.

Okay, now to my main points:

Movie #1: American Werewolf in Paris
I watched this movie over Friday night. "Why?" you may ask. "Well," I may tell you, "there wasn't shit else on TV." So, I ended up watching this.

Let me tell you, this movie was downright laughably bad. The setting was absurd, the characters were poorly written, the acting was barely passable, and the ending was so horribly corny I almost laughed out loud. The only half-decent part of this flick was the effects, and that's not saying much. This is just further proof that, and all apsiring directors and moviegoers alike should remember this:

Flashy special effects do not a good movie make.

Seriously, avoid this one. If you're ever watching TBS late at night and this comes on, change the channel. Don't make the same mistake I made. It's not worth the 2 hours you would've wasted on it. Those sleepless hours would be better spent staring at the ceiling or counting sheep.

Movie #2: Eye of the Beast
Now, this one I actually kind of liked. I watched it Saturday night on Sci-fi, which means I already had low expectations.

Now, on its surface, this is really just another cheap Sci-fi Saturday monster movie, but upon closer examination, it's really well executed. The characters and acting weren't great, but they were passably believable, which is really all you need in a Sci-fi Saturday flick.

The story was nothing special: A marine biologist type guy investigates the poor catch at a fishery, only to discover a sea monster living in the lake, which no one believes until it's too late, so it's up to him and some locals to kill it. Generic as it was, though, it took a couple turns that I didn't fully expect, and it kept me genuinely interested in the outcome.

Also, (--SPOILER ALERT--) the monster is NOT killed by a big gratuitous explosion at the end. They used electricity, which I'll admit has been done before for sea monsters, but it's not too played out, and in Eye of the Best, they definitely did it with flair.

So, overall, I would recommend this one. If you're a fan of Sci-fi monster movies, or just looking for something a little different, give it a watch next time it's on TV. Or, if you're really ambitious, rent the DVD. It'll probably be on video soon if it isn't already.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dashboard Confessional

(This post has nothing to do with the band, so don't get your hopes up)

I'm not a very religious man, so I've never really been one to go to confession. Still, I've heard confession is good for the soul. I haven't done anything too heinous in my day, but I think we all have one thing or another we need to come clean about sooner or later.

What about you? Done anything cringe-worthy lately? I know, I'm certainly no holy man, but I like to help people however I can, and I'm always willing to lend an ear to whoever wants it. So, if any of my readers have something weighing on their conscience, or just want to brag about their evil exploits, now's a fine time to fess up. You can even do so anonymously if you want.

And if you don't trust me enough to confess to, why not confess to Sweeney Todd? Lame segue, I know, but I had to mention this movie somehow. I've always been a big Tim Burton fan, and Johnny Depp has been growing on me. From the trailers I've seen so far, Sweeney Todd is going to be a great old-school horror flick. Too many films these days use flashy effects, pointless twists and excessive gore to thinly cover up bad acting and weak story. But I know Tim Burton is too good for that. The man's a story-teller. No cheap scares and weak plotlines here; just pure, unadulterated cinematic terror.

Okay, I think I'm rambling a bit now. Anyway, to check out Sweeney Todd's confessional, click the link in the previous paragraph. And to learn more about the master Tim Burton's latest movie, visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site.