Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Marriage is a Wonderful Invention. Then Again, So is a Bicycle Repair Kit." -- Billy Connelly

"Chapped lips" or "lapped chips", which one?

OK so, you know how if it's written on the internet -- especially in a blog -- it has to be true, right? OK, let's test that theory...


Hey, I can bench press 250 pounds now!

Oh, and I finished the rough draft of my novel, woot!

And I made a video of myself streaking through the Escondido library! And it went viral!

And I ate an entire bag of in-the-shell peanuts between yesterday and today!


Do you believe me? Yeah, didn't think so. Well, one of those statements is true, in any case... I'll let you decide which one...

And now, some rants...

RANT #1: The Oil Spill

Are you kidding me? It's been over a month since that oil spill in the gulf, and they still haven't fixed it yet? Good grief, that must be the engineering nightmare to end all nightmares, if our best minds still haven't come up with a solution yet. For crying out loud, I saw the movie Apollo 13... I know what great minds can do to fix unexpected problems. What, may I ask, the heck? Millions of gallons of oil just pumping away into the ocean, like it had good sense. The impact on the fishing trade is going to prove thoroughly devastating. We get a third of our seafood, as a country, from the gulf. Why isn't this 24/7 front-page news? I have a theory. Because gas prices haven't risen, that's why. Under normal circumstances, something like this would cause the price to jump WAY up. That's what has me worried. If it had been a quick fix, they would have jacked gas prices and blamed it on the spill. But they are keeping the price as it is (actually, it's dropped a bit since), which makes me think they are petrified of us finding out that they don't know how to fix it. They're artificially keeping the price down, so we stay mostly asleep about it. Because if gas was $5/gallon right now, we would be raising so much hell it wouldn't be funny. "Well, it must not be too bad, or too big a deal... gas prices are the same. Let's see what's on TV tonight!"

That segue's into...

RANT #2: LOST Finale

I'm sorry, Logan, I know you thought this show was the cat's meow - you might want to skip this rant... Even though I gave up on LOST partway into Season 5, I've had the Wagner Women (and Logan's episode updates) to keep me informed of any attempts the show has made to answer some of the innumerable "mysteries" that had inundated viewers with in the first 4 seasons. I have to say, from all that I've seen mentioned since I stopped watching, there is nothing that convinces me that the creators of the show had ANY IDEA what they were doing. It reminds me of (the recently cancelled) show HEROES. Terrific first season, becomes a huge hit... the writers sit around a big table looking at each other, going "Umm... now what?" Seriously. With all of the time traveling, and alternate realty storylines, and people dying and coming back and dying and coming back... and then dying and coming back as a completely different person inside their body, and disappearing islands, and people that are really smoke monsters, and people leaving the island and coming back -- just to try and escape again. Sayid's a bad guy. Sayid's a good guy. He's a bad guy again. He's a good guy again. Locke getting shot, healing, getting stabbed, healing, getting beat up, healing, getting his legs crushed, healing... I tell ya, it's enough to make a man swear off TV altogether. One gigantic steaming pantload of doom!

RANT #3: Glee

OMG, don't even go there...

RANT #4: Immigration and the Arizona Law

OK, correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a proper, legal way to become American citizens, check? If you sneak in here, then by definition you're not here legally, check? Yes, I know everyone has a sob story. I know, some people have been here illegally for years and years - sometimes basically growing up here. To send someone like that "home" to Mexico when they never really were there to begin with (except as a child) is pretty lame. Not to mention if a kid is born here in the states, with illegal parents, and the kid is a citizen and the folks are told to go home... split up the family? Ungood. STILL, that having been said, something needs to be done to stem the tide of illegal immigration. I mean, to hear the whiners in the press talking, it seems Arizona is one step away from becoming Nazi Germany - for trying to enforce Federal rules that are already on the books, but are not being enforced!

OK, I want to take this rant in about 6 different directions. Lemme pause...

If what you're doing is illegal, you shouldn't be allowed to continue doing it, or get away with it indefinitely. I'm sure sometimes people rob stores/banks because they desperately need money. Again, everyone has a story, I get it. But not everyone robs out of desperate need! Some rob for the thrill of it, or so they can hurt people purposely, or because they feel somehow that they are entitled to the money. So do we absolve all robbers because a handful have a story of woe? If you're here illegally, and you want to protest something, don't protest the laws that are trying to send you back to get in line and do it right... protest the system that is in desperate need of streamlining, so people can become legal faster. Don't gather by the tens-of-thousands and scream about your violated rights... other than basic human rights, I'm not sure how long your list of rights as an illegal immigrant is to begin with.

I'm of the opinion that there needs to be a drastic solution, but neither of my ideas will ever happen. We need to either lock down the border, and station troops all along it, so that absolutely no one gets through, period, combined with massive nation-wide dragnet sweeps to round up those who shouldn't be here...  or we need to throw the border wide open, roll in, and annex Mexico. Dissolve their government, absorb Mexico, divide it up into a few more states, and make it a part of our country. Heck, if they want to be here so bad, now they can stay home and be here at the same time! We'll dump money into building their infrastructure up, and of course help ourselves to their natural resources. They'll all become citizens, and get a bump up in standards of living, and we'll add 750,000 square miles of real estate and 100 million new tax payers.

Yeah, like either of those will ever happen... the alternative is to have things keep as they are. Which is exactly what will happen.

So I got the quintessential mixed blessing in the email today. Piranha Marketing sent me a transcript to edit and format, like they do every month. It's a great gig - steady money, and something I'm good at. But this transcript is different. It came in eight separate MSWord files instead of one (as usual). I usually get one file each month - a transcript of a one hour interview. Anyway, I thought that was a bit odd, having the interview divided up into 8 parts like that. Until I realized that each part was an hour-long transcript! So instead of one, I have the equivalent of 8 hours worth to edit and format! 225 pages worth! And they want it by next Thursday! :O AAAA!!!!! 8 times the work (and 8 times the pay, I presume), in about the same time I'm usually given to do one...

Wish me luck...

So I started David Gemmell's book Legend. I am very impressed so far. Just wanted you to know it's starting off really well. It's a short book; expect a review soon. Then I think I'll move on to Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy, which Laythe read and said was outstanding. Good reads ahead!

OK, I'm done typing for now. When I come up with something worth saying, why, I'll hit New Post and blast you again!

Sorry about the rants tonight. Just had to (try and) get it all off my chest. You should consider yourselves lucky! I was going to rant about abortion again...

Until whenever,



logankstewart said...

As for mysteries, I don't really feel like there is anything left unsolved. Sure, there might be small things, but no big deal there.

I won't take the time to properly cause an argument for the show. From what I've read and heard over the years, the ending has been known (and written) since the beginning, as fans were told that a key to the entire puzzle was in the very beginning. And for the most part, I believe this.

Ultimately, Lost was a show about people, about forming meaningful relationships with people in your life, so that when you die, you don't die alone. The characters are rich and deep, well developed, and relate-able. The finale was beautiful in every sense of the word, at least to me.

I'm okay with people blasting the show, though. I've been ridiculed and mocked for years, but I've never once wavered in my devotion. Let's take a green bean casserole for an example. Say the casserole is my favorite food. I obviously love the taste, texture, aroma, etc. of the meal, and naturally, I wanna share it with others so they, too, can experience its wonders. Say you despise green bean casseroles and they make you sick and rant-full. There's no way I'm going to get you to eat the casserole, even though I know it's delicious and amazing and that you're doing yourself a disfavor my not eating it. It's okay by me, though. I still am going to enjoy my casserole whether you like it or not.

If anything, Lost was a great tool for working out metaphors, but it was so much more than that. It was a show that (cheesily) was life-changing. I've talked to people about how the show has caused self-introspection, and it has for me as well.

That's enough of that now.

I hope Legend is as good as it's supposed to be, and the Night Angel trilogy, too.

PS. You made it up into Season 5 before quitting? Was it the time travel thing that made you quit? And nobody ever died and came back to life. Dead is dead, even on Lost. Okay. Now that's enough...

Joseph said...

The Lost finale was ultimately lame. Hate that show. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and look what happens...

Abbie said...

haha, poor logan :) at least you defend LOST well! I love green bean casserole :)

Dave, I like your rants. Usually I'm on the same side as you... you have a good way of presenting what you want to say.

Good luck with Piranha!

David Wagner said...

Logan: The show lost me (no pun intended) when the "Oceanic Six" got off the island and then felt some mad urge to return. When the Island flat-out disappeared. When some of the characters went back in time and became Dharma people. When they found a nuke on the island. When I heard there was a parallel timeline of stories that weren't really happening, but *could have*...

Did they ever really explain the numbers? They represented the Oceanic Six somehow? Why were the numbers being recited from a radio back during world war 2? Why did Hurley win the lottery using them? Why did they need to be entered in that computer every 108 minutes in the hatch? Does that make sense to anyone at all?

And every time I passed by the living room while the girls were watching, I'd see Christian, or Charlie, or Libby, or Anna Lucia, or Jin, or Ernst, or Claire... or someone else that had died in a previous episode. Not to mention Locke. I have a hard time believing "dead is dead" when everyone keeps coming back. It robs the tension for me. Oh, he/she died, but it doesn't matter. Give it a few weeks, he/she will be back.

The first two seasons were phenomenal, don't get me wrong. Underneath, I am a big fan of the show - it certainly broke new ground, as far as how an episodic show was structured. But I have a very hard time believing that the writers had anything at all about the final two seasons in mind when they began the show. I really think it was a case of creating a great show and not knowing what to do with it, or how to adequately address all the mysteries.

logankstewart said...

Every question in your second paragraph was answered directly during the final season, or could be inferred from another answer from the final season. And the parallel timeline of things that weren't happening or could have happened were all speculation until the finale, so until then it was just somebody theorizing.

As for the "dead" people you were seeing, that was all explained as well in the final season. Everyone of the people mentioned were all dead, and whenever you saw them again they were either ghosts or incarnations of Smokey.

I can understand your ire at some things you mentioned, but I truly feel like every bit of it was explained and that the ending was perfectly gratifying/satisfying. Of course, there are some things that's not explained, but that's life, and Lost truly mirrored life in many ways. In the end, there are things we get to know and things we don't, at least not in this world.

I definitely agree that the first two seasons were phenomenal, and the third and fourth faltered a bit, but the fifth and sixth seasons were amazing once again. As for whether or not the writers knew where the series was going, that's anyone's guess, but I don't know why they would lie, nor are you the only doubter of their word.

David Wagner said...

Well, all of the seasons are available to Watch Instantly on Netflix. Maybe after things settle a bit, I'll watch them all again and then possibly modify my position at that time. I'm certainly not afraid of admitting I was wrong about something. Until then, I shall cling to my tenuous position of disappointment and bowel angst!

logankstewart said...

Bowel angst... :)

Alas, I bow in defeat.

logankstewart said...

Well Crap.

It kind of hit me that something I wrote earlier wasn't completely correct. There was one character that died and then was came back to life, but I can only think of one and it was handled pretty well.

I think my mind needs a break.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I am glad to see there is someone else that feels the same as I do on Lost and Heroes. I really enjoyed Heroes the first season, then something happened or they lost something. And I lost interest. But I wanted to like it. Lost lost me about season 4. And that finale... What? I couldn't believe it.


Drydoryssus said...

Never watched Lost, and I don't think I ever will ...

The immigration problem is quite relatable.
Take Greece, over here. It's the natural doorway to Europe. We've had continuous swarms of refuges and illegal immigrants in the past decades.

Radical solutions might be sort of effective, sure, but mind you, they're also some really tricky business. ... I mean, annexing Mexico ?..

Always bear in mind that one day, you might be an illegal immigrant too.
Over here this is a distinct possibility already ...

havah said...

Oh, I know! I know! The streaking video is true. Right? Right? Guess not.

Yes, I saw the flier, but I couldn't pull the 'yes' tab off. Very frustrating.

Rant #1: I don't get why it's taking so long either. I think it's political.

Rant #2: Never watched it.

Rant #3: Never watched it.

Rank #4: OMG I could say so much! Soooo much! We should chat some time :D

Good luck with the Piranha thing...and make sure your presumption of pay is accurate before you get started!

(Another amazing comment by moi)