Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Well, it's been almost a week, and I haven't been able to see Return of the King yet, so I feel obligated to post SOMETHING. And don't blame me if this post is stupid, it's not as well thought out as some of my other ones.

You know, This christmas has been a bit different. We haven't driven around looking at christmas lights, I wasn't able to catch Charlie Brown Christmas, or It's a wonderful Life, or even the Santa Clause. But this is one of the first christmases where I've had a job, so I could buy everyone in my family good presents. Of course that means I'm now broke.

But what I realized the other day is that this may be one of my last christmases at home. I mean, I'll be off at college by this time next year, and while I'll probably come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it still won't be the same. It kinda makes me sad that this is the end. Some would say it's only the beginning, but I'm not so sure.

Well, I guess all I'm saying to you lower-classmen is, enjoy things as they come, there are only so many times you'll have to enjoy them before they're gone.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Okay, I know I haven’t updated in a while, but I just saw RotK, and I NEED to post a review. I just want to see it one more time before I do so. There’s one part that completely baffles me as to why they did it like they did. Those who have seen the movie know what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I was driving by 7-11 one day, and noticed that they claim to have 1300 different ways to make coffee. 1300 ways to make coffee? I can’t fathom this. If you go inside, they have different ways said, like “#324 hazelnut coffee, vanilla syrup, and marshmallows”. Did 7-11 hire someone to sit down, and figure out EVERY imaginable way to make coffee? And it just happened to come to an even number like 1300? Maybe so, but I can’t imagine anyone WANTING to have 1300 different ways to make their coffee.

I mean, variety is good and all, but I think we need to draw the line somewhere. We’re already bombarded daily with too many choices. We wake up, do we wear the jeans, corduroys, khakis, or maybe dress slacks? And that’s just pants. I wonder how many combinations of clothes I have. Maybe I should hire 7-11 to find out.

Then comes breakfast: Cereal, bagel, toast, pop-tart, or eggs? eggs, okay. Will that be scrambled, over-easy, sunny side up, hard-boiled, soft boiled, or poached?

What to do today? Watch TV, Get on computer, read a book, maybe work on that paper you’re supposed to be doing? TV? Okay. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, USA, HBO, The Discovery Channel, The learning channel, Animal planet, food network, comedy central, or The Superstation?

I guess I like all the choices, though. I wouldn’t mind so much, if they were all good. The problem is our society thinks we want more choices, so they spit out as many crappy ones as they can make. But I’m not interested in a bunch of crappy choices, I just want a few GOOD ones.

But then, I don’t really like coffee that much anyway.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

REVIEW: Master and commander:The Far Side of the World - movie, 4 stars

When I first saw the previews for Master and Commander, I didn’t think it was anything special. The sets/props/FX looked spectacular, but as Attack of the Clones proves, that’s not everything. But, when the movie released, and got rave review after rave review, I thought it might be worth a look. I’m here to tell you it is.

The movie doesn’t do what you would expect, and start off with them setting out from England. Instead, the movie begins with them already on the high seas, or on the far side of the world as it were. Russel Crowe plays Captain “Lucky” Jack Aubrey, who is the title master and commander. He gives a satisfactory performance, but best part of the movie for me was Paul Bettany’s performance as Stephen Maturin, the ships doctor (who also happens to be the captain’s best friend, and cello buddy). Bettany seems to have a knack for playing Russel Crowe’s best friend, as he also portrayed Crowe’s roommate in A Beautiful Mind (although this time he’s not an imaginary character).

The plot is fairly standard stuff, and is largely character driven. We see them fighting the French on several occasions, but rarely ever see the French themselves. The filmmakers wisely chose instead to focus on the Captain and Crew of the HMS Surprise. The crew is played wonderfully by a cast of dozens, who give pretty good performances, enough so that we actually care about what happens to them.

The thing that surprised me was the character development. The main difference being that I didn’t expect to see any. This movie has well-developed characters, much of which is probably owed to Patrick O’Brian’s novels which the movie is based on. But Crowe and Bettany add much to this, as do the screenwriters.

As I said before, the visual aspect of the movie was superb. The sets were perfect, exactly as you would imagine them to be. The special effects were believable, but didn’t produce many “WOW” shots, which is as it should be.

All in all, this is a movie that you SHOULD go see. It’s one of the better movies out right now. I give it a 4.0 out of 5.0

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Around this time of year, people are always racking their brains, trying to think of something that they’re thankful for. In this great age of technology, freedom and wealth, people actually have trouble thinking of what their thankful for. I bet few of us really know why they’re trying to be thankful, except that the name of the holiday is thanksgiving.

Well, today I read Psalm 139, and I know what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful that God knows when I sit down and rise up, and what I say before I say it. I’m thankful that He is always with me, whether I’m in Virginia Beach, Pennsylvania, Baghdad, Heaven, Hell, or if I just feel like Heaven or Hell. I’m thankful that His Knowledge is too great for me, and that I cannot hope to attain it. I’m thankful that He made me the way He did, before I was even born. I’m thankful that He has a plan for me, and I’m even more thankful that He lets me know some small part of it. I’m thankful that He knows every one of my anxious, self conscious, insecure thoughts, and is there to comfort me. To say “I’m here. I’m here to help you. To help you down the eternal path where you don‘t know the way. And I love you.”

THAT’s what I’m thankful for. Not Freedom and Liberty, not technology and science, not wealth and material goods, I am thankful for an all-knowing and loving God, who will help me make sense of this mess I‘m in. And if that seems sappy, or sentimental, or overly religious, or even preachy then so be it. That’s what I’m thankful for, and I have a right to be, dangit! It’s a free country, and I’ve got enough money to buy a computer and internet access to say it, so you just have to listen to me. Nobody asked your opinion, anyway!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Well, I decided to get a haircut. And by decided, I mean that my mom and bosses said that I had to get one. If you don’t know me, I’m rather proud of my long hair (or, rather, I WAS rather proud of my long hair). I liked flipping it around, I liked having the wind flow through it while driving my bright red convertible, I loved having beautiful women run their fingers through it. Well, I liked flipping it anyway. Anyway, (I just said anyway twice in a row) one day my mom gives me $20 and tells me to get my hair cut. She says to go to the place where she gets hers done.

I say, okay. Will that be a Vulcan or a Mullet?

She doesn’t answer.

Anyway (there it is again), she says if I go to the place where I usually get my hair cut, then my no means let that guy Ralph near my hair. The man wouldn’t know a good haircut if one came up and bit him in the behind (of course, this is only conjecture. He may have a very nice haircut on his behind).

So what do I do? I, of course, go to my normal haircuttery. And, as is often the case, there are only two people there, one cutting hair, and one lounging around. And the lounging around at the moment is…of course…our good friend Ralph. Now I think this guy is close personal friends with the owner or something, because that’s the only foreseeable reason why anyone would let him near a pair of scissors. I COULD have waited and gotten someone else, but for some God-forsaken reason, I wasn’t thinking clearly, and just felt like getting this over with. People, trust me. A haircut isn’t just something that you “get over with”. It’ll be stuck on your head until, well, until the next time you just “get it over with”.

Now I specifically remember saying the words “trim”, “not too short”, and “the same length all around”. I do not remember the words “emo” or “reverse mullet” ever protruding from my mouth. Maybe we just had a failure to communicate, but I somehow ended up with a haircut that was remarkably similar to his. Which, trust me, is NOT a good thing.

As he was finished, he asked me how it was. I must have muttered something about it being short, because he said “yeah, it must feel a lot better. There was a LOT of hair up there”. Well, DUH!!! I spent the whole car ride home screaming at the mirror. “I said the SAME length, you frigging retard!” “I have a telluM!” “I’m Liza backwards!”

The worst part was, it was Friday. A YMV day. I had gone to a class earlier in the day, so some people had already seen me in my “normal” hair. I couldn’t let them see me like this. So, after a quick stop at home to pick up a woven wool beanie, I was at YMV, where several people proceeded to pull it off.

And isn’t it weird how whenever you get the WORST HAIRCUT IN YOUR LIFE, that’s the moment people start saying “hey I like your haircut”. It’s like whenever your singing in a choir ensemble, and the sopranos miss an entrance, and throw everyone off, and the whole thing is screwed up, then afterwards, some old lady comes and tells you it was the most beautiful thing she’s ever heard. I HATE THAT!

Yeah, that’s what it’s like. Jesse is at least honest enough to make fun of it, if only to say it’s emo. In fact, I am in the process of writing an emo song about my hair, and I’ll sing it for each and every one of you when I’m done. I promise.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

REVIEW: ELF - movie, 3.5 stars

Well, my mom decided we don’t do enough things as a family, so we went to go see a movie. Since Master and Commander isn’t much of a family movie, we saw elf. I liked Will Ferrell on SNL (never saw old school), and I was wondering if he could pull off clean family comedy (it IS rated PG).

Anyway, I was pretty surprised…the movie was good. I mean, no kidding, this isn’t great comedic genius here, but definitely worth the paper the ticket was printed on (which was actually, like, regular paper, too… We go to a pretty ghetto theater)

Well, the plot is your run-of-the-mill holiday comedy: Buddy (Ferrell) was an orphaned baby who, one Christmas, mistakenly wandered into Santa’s bag. At the north pole, he was discovered, and finding nothing else to do but to keep him there, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) raises him as his own. It quickly becomes apparent (well, to everyone but Buddy) that he is different. He’s three times as tall as the other elves, sings an octave lower, and is no good at making toys. When he learns the truth, he goes off to New York City to find his family. Unfortunately, they turn out to be a "Scrooge"-ish father (James Caan) and a cynical ten-year-old stepbrother (Daniel Tay) who doesn't believe in Santa. Worst of all, everyone seems to have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. But using his simple elf ways, Buddy sets out to single-handedly win over his family and save Christmas in New York, hoping to at last find his true place in the world.

The writing is good, finding some great situations for Will Ferrell to be in. One is when he gets into a brawl with a department store santa, saying “you sit on a throne of lies!”. The parts that made ME laugh out loud the most were Will Ferrell’s physical comedy, like when he gets hit by a cab from the side, when he was mauled by an angry racoon, or when he was jumping on top of a Christmas tree to put the star on top. Will Ferrell and the supporting cast carry this movie all the way, making what would otherwise be just another fish-out-of-water story into a fun and enjoyable holiday movie.

If you go into this movie expecting just another holiday movie, or just another Will Ferrell movie, prepare to be surprised. This is neither. I give it 3.5 out of five stars for being a fun, cute, family movie.

NOTE: yeah, I know I said I'd be doing the thumbs up-thumbs down thing, but that was before I realized that Xanga had their own rating thing, which is out of five stars. Oh, well

Monday, November 17, 2003

Monday, November 17, 2003

I saw the movie Elf on Saturday, and I thought I’d type up a review. I’m going to try to review every movie I see in theaters (wish me luck). Well, to get you ready, here’s my grading scale:

2 Thumbs up: Good movie. Definitely worthy of your time and money.

1 Thumb up: A pretty good movie, but it definitely could have been better. Still worthy of your time and money, but there are drawbacks

1 Thumb down: Either a good idea with failed execution, or a movie that has some good parts in it, but the bad outweighs the good.

2 Thumbs down: A complete bomb. It’s the kind of movie where you’d be better off spending your time watching American Idol. Yeah, that bad.

Tune in next time for: ELF!

Monday, November 10, 2003

Monday, November 10, 2003

When we last left Matt and his dad, they were stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with 2 flat tires. Matt’s Dad used his cell phone to call roadside assistance, which is not very well organized in Pennsylvania. It took them over a half-hour just to talk to the right people. Matt also used the cell phone to call his mother. He reduced her to tears with the fact that her little boy was stuck on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, and would never go to college. That seemed to make things better.

Anyway, a half hour later, help arrived in the form of Woody, our friendly neighborhood tire-fixer. He had a five o’clock shadow from two days ago, and the smell to match. He came up in his big truck of everything, and pulled out a gasoline-powered air pump. He proceeded to fill our tire to overflowing. I mean, literally, to overflowing. Quite generous of him really, well, until the tire exploded.

After he realized our spare tire was done for (he was quite the bright cookie), he spent the next half-hour fixing our other tire instead. My dad took this opportunity to take all the tea he drank that morning and “give it back to nature” . And again, and again, and again. He drank a lot of tea.

Finally, 81 dollars, and a good-as-used tire later, we got on the road, and got to messiah. We actually didn’t miss a whole lot, considering we were already an hour late. I went into a student’s meeting, and my dad went into a parent’s meeting. I found out that I can keep my car if I live 300 miles or more away( we set the trip meter on the way home, and it came to 330 something. Whooo! Close.)

Next was the English presentation. I liked the professor, and the presentation was good. I’m not going to major in English for sure, but I think I’d like taking courses from this guy.

After that was communications. I was the only Film person there, which was fine with me, since my dad was pretty much the only one asking questions the whole time. Actually, it was really just one big question, encompassing everything, and moving from one topic to another. Oh, well. It turns out that they’re expanding the Film Department, and it’ll probably be it’s own major if and when I go there. Also, they have state of the art cameras, projectors, and everything. I have a good feeling about this.

Next, the most important presentation: Lunch. While the food was about par from what one would expect from a college cafeteria, there was one let-down. IT’S A COKE CAMPUS!! I didn’t see a single pepsi machine in my time there. If I go there, I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with it. Oh, and also, I learned that not everyone was a dork/prep/jock at this college, there were some cool people as well.

Then my dad went to the financial aid department, and I went to music, where I met up with some people I knew from the English presentation. Swapped names, swapped Instant and got to know each other. Later, we followed the professor to the practice rooms, where I was happy to discover 4 baby grand pianos, and a great quantity of quality uprights. The lights are funky, though.

After that, I got my stuff from my dad, and met up with my student host for the night, who gave me a tour around campus (which I had missed earlier). They have a nice campus there. He had gotten two tickets to the play that night, which was 1984. Before the play, I met up with the people from the English/Music presentations, and went to the practice rooms. When they asked me to play, I wowed them with a little philosophy (yeah, I know. All you at home are like “oh, matt”).

Well, the play was really…….depressing. I mean, I didn’t expect it to be a feel-good play, but it was disturbing. I guess that’s what it was meant to be.

We went back to the dorm room, and I discovered a new passion: Knights of the Old Republic. People, I have a PS2, and this game alone made me want to get an Xbox. But alas, I no havey. I guess I’ll just have to wait to buy (well, not BUY per se cough*Kazaa*cough*) for the PC version.

Anyways, we went to bed pretty late, and woke up at 7:30 (really 8:30, cause of the extra hour. Wow it really was that long ago: Daylight savings time had JUST STARTED. Or did it end? I can never keep them straight). It turns out I left my soap and shampoo in the hotel room, and had to borrow the other guys. Which was interesting, since he was almost bald. If you’ve never used an almost-bald-guy’s shampoo before….then don’t. It’s not that fun.

Anyhoo, after breakfast in the cafeteria, I promptly got separated from my student guide (thus being unable to get my stuff out of his room). After a half-hour of waiting outside, he and my dad finally find me, and we get our stuff.

After that, the trip was basically over. Or so I thought. After driving for another 7 ½ hours, we got home. Ahh, home. I came in the door, ready to plunk on the sofa, and watch TV until I fell asleep. Unfortunately, the couch was occupied by Jordan, Danny, Whitney O, Whitney R, and Kelsey R at the time. Furthermore, they were watching my home movies. I came in as they were watching my 9-year-old rendition of Zorro. What fun.

And that concludes the LONGEST POST EVER!!!!! Which I guess it better be, since I haven’t updated for over a week. Well, I’ve decided I will NEVER do this again. This being typing about actual events in my life. It’s WAAAY too boring. I’ll try to stick to my normal (well, normal for me, anyway) writings from now on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Well, I promised I’d write about my trip when I got home, and since I’ve been home for 3 days or so, I thought I’d write about it NOW.

Well, as many of you know I was at Messiah college in Grantham, Pennsylvania Friday through Sunday. As it is with most road trips, getting there was half the pain. Or maybe it was half the fun.

We left around 1, to find I-64 backed up for about a half-hour. Suddenly, I remembered that I had heard about this on the radio about an hour earlier. However, I had forgotten to mention it, which thoroughly pissed off my dad. This didn’t delay us a whole lot, though, and we got there in a fairly decent amount of time.

When we DID get to the hotel, we checked in, and noticed a couple of people having a pretty heated conversation in the corner. Which was quite a feat, considering they couldn’t talk. As it turned out, our hotel was hosting some sort of deaf peoples conference, and everyone in the hotel except my father and I couldn't hear.

So, assuming I‘d have a good night‘s sleep, I climbed into bed. I assumed wrong. If you’ve never slept in the same room as my dad (and I’m hoping most of you haven’t) you know why. His ear-piercing, gut wrenching, blood curdling snore. This is no ordinary snore, people. This snore has been known to wake people from comas. Seriously, the deaf people kept coming to our door telling him to shut up. Trust me, if you ever find yourself in my situation, do what I could not: get to sleep before he does. Otherwise, keep a glass of water handy by the nightstand.

After good night’s sleep (or lack thereof), and a disturbingly quiet continental breakfast, we were off. We were supposed to be there by 8:30, and it was about a 15 minute drive, so we left around 8:15. But 5 minutes into the drive, my dad pulled into an abandoned gas station, and decided it was time for me to learn an important life lesson. And since it just so happened that we had run over a nail somewhere in Maryland, and the air had been slowly leaking out for over 12 hours, he decided it that was going to be how to change a spare tire.

4 bolts, a jack, a wrench, and a teensy (or “space saving”) tire later, we were back on the road again. But, of course, my dad thought another life lesson was in order: reading the fine print (although it wasn’t quite “fine” per se, it said “max speed 50 mph” in pretty big letters, actually). And wouldn’t you know, my dad has NEVER been known to drive at 50 mph anytime, anywhere.

So, there we are, stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, with our total flat tire count up to 2. Which just so happened to be the same amount of life lessons learned (all of which happened to have NOTHING to do with college).

. . .

WHAT will happen? WHO will save them? WILL Matt ever go to college?

Tune in next time, for Messiah trip, Part deux!

Friday, October 24, 2003

Friday, October 24, 2003

Hey guys. No huge post this time, sorry. I'm leaving for Messiah college today (just to visit) and I'll be back on Monday. I'll tell you about it when I get back.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I never really considered myself a sports fan. And for good reason: I wasn’t. I’ve just never really been the “athletic” type. In fact, I was just the opposite: I was, quite literally, an anti-sports fanatic. I'm the kind of person that not only doesn't know who's in the world series, but refuses to find out who is.

But then something happened that changed my life: Fantasy Football.

It all started when Eric, my youth pastor, started a summer discipleship group that met on Thursday mornings. Being the good boy I am, I went. 

One day, before the meeting officially started, someone started talking about Fantasy Football. I had kind of heard of it before, but never paid much attention (anti-sports fanatics tend to do that). Eric, however had done it before, and thought it would be a good idea to have our own little league (there were 9 guys in the group, 10 including Eric). Not to be inconsiderate, I went along.

For those who don’t know, the basic idea of Fantasy Football is that everyone chooses individual football players, organizes them onto a team, and gets points any given Sunday depending on how well(or how badly, which seems to be the case many times) that particular player does. For instance, if I have a quarterback from San Francisco, but a Wide Receiver from Carolina, I get points depending on how many yards/completions each one makes. And every Sunday, each team in our league faces one other team, and whoever gets the most points from that match up gets a win, and goes up in the standings

Now, you COULD do this by paying someone to check the sports page everyday, write down the statistics for each player, and total up the scores each week, but since we were lazy and cheap, we did it for free online.

I, of course knew (and still, pretty much know) next to nothing about football. I mean, did you know that they added a new team? The Houston Texans. Apparently this happened a while ago, but I must've fallen off the face of the earth or something. Luckily, my older brother is not as Football illiterate as I. And that's putting it mildly. In reality, he's a sports phreak. You see, my family is not only useful for knowing the location of thrift stores. He happened to have the little black book of fantasy football (Well, actually it was a magazine, but that doesn’t sound nearly as cool). And, with a list of the best players in the league(ah, borrowed from my older brother), I went to the draft, ready to get the bestest team on the planet.....only to find everyone else had a list, too. So, sorry, but no great family unity is caused in this story.

So, with my great team assembled, all  I needed to do was come up with a name. And I was really hungry when I decided on the name, so all I could come up with was the Crazy Go Nuts University Dumples. I think maybe I meant Dumplings, but I was really hungry and tired and sorta confused, and ended up putting Dumples on the application. Oh, well. My friend came up with the name Homestar's Knees Tech, for some random reason that God only knows.

Anyway, lately I’ve been getting into it more, checking on stats, trading players, and the like. I've found that I spend almost as much time on that as I do on my Xanga (which, as you can guess by the length of my entries is pretty long).Unfortunately, my record of 3-4 doesn’t reflect all the hard work I’ve put into this. The real sickening thing is that this one guy who knew even less than me, and put absolutely no effort into it (he wouldn’t even have been able to start his guys if Eric hadn’t done it for him) is number one in the league right now. It's just obscene.

To top it all off, last week I was playing against one of the worst teams. My quarterback is Jeff Garcia from San Francisco. My Dad (who really should confine his area of expertise to thrift stores) told me to switch him out, since they were going up against the "unbeatable" Tampa Bay defense. Then he tells me to drop my second QB from Carolina, since they never pass the ball. Garcia passed for 253, and the Carolina QB passed for 362! The player I DID start, who he said was "the next peyton manning": was David Carr, from The Houston Texans (which he still insists is a real team), who passed for a whopping 170 yards.

The moral of the story: even if your dad is the king of thrift stores, don’t listen to him about football. Leave that up to your brother. Actually, don't leave it up to him either. Just watch ESPN.

P.S. oh, and by the way, I've got a tough game next week against Homestar's Knees Tech.  You all need to learn the fight song and cheer me on:

FIGHTING AND SOMETIMES STRIVING

WONDERING WHAT THE DUMPLE IS

EXCELLENCE AND WHAT IS VALOR?

AND THE CHEAT WILL HIT STUFF WITH A GOLF CLUB

“see” “gee” “in” “you”

Monday, October 20, 2003

Monday, October 20, 2003

While you sit in your comfortable little houses, in your comfortable little chairs, playing around on your comfortable little internet, a huge government conspiracy is afoot, one that a scare few even know about, and even less care:

There is no state of Wyoming.

I’m sure this must shock, astonish, and possibly even surprise you, but it’s true. A certain Paul Thomas and myself uncovered this conspiracy one Sunday Morning, much by accident. We discovered while talking to many different people, that none had ever been to Wyoming. Furthermore, no one knew anyone from Wyoming, nor did anyone know anyone else who’d ever been to Wyoming. The best defense anyone could come up with was “Uhh, there’s a song about Wyoming…” or “Isn’t there a movie that has Wyoming in it?”

The truth is, there’s no state there. The land just doesn’t exist. They needed a 50th state to make it all nice and round. So they thought up a name, added land on the map, and presto! Instant state. Of course, as soon as we add another state (like Puerto Rico, Guam, or Iraq) we’ll just forget that Wyoming ever ‘existed’. Nice and tidy, eh?

So there you have it. Wyoming is just the Government pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public. Fight back! Write your congressman. Tell him to beat up Wyoming’s congressman. He’s probably just a robot, anyway.

P.S. Rumors that no-one lives in the state of Nebraska, and that it is only a place for Santa Claus to live are currently being looked into.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Some people have complained that My Xanga entries are too long. So I thought I'd make this one short.

...

At my party yesterday, I witnessed what I have since concluded to be the single most hilarious thing on planet earth. Jesse Hill danced to “The Ascent of Stan” by Ben Folds.

Well, I guess you just had to be there

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

There comes a time in everyone’s life where something happens that makes you step back and say, “Holy crap! Where did THAT come from?”

My personal “Holy crap! Where did THAT come from?” started a year ago when the YMV Praise Team asked me to play piano for them. It was pretty cool then, if only because we had Eric Bryan leading us, and he did a really good job. In addition to just being a cool guy, he was very mature, both mentally and spiritually. He started the praise team, so he was the obvious choice to lead it. But then came that horrible day that drives fear (or jubilation (sometimes both)) into the hearts of all High-Schoolers:Graduation.

After the explosions and dust cleared, there weren't many canditates. The ‘obvious’ choice this time around was Marcus. He was also, in my opinion, quite mature, and had lead worship at his church for some time. Everyone decided pretty much unanimously that he should be the leader, even before the year started. Everything seemed fine and in place. No one needed or wanted it to be differently. Unfortunatly (or perhaps Fortunately), God had other ideas.  

Marcus shocked the YMV-Praise-Band-world when he made the announcement that he wouldn’t be able to make the commitment to lead the band. He might be able to play guitar or bass here and there, but leading was out of the question.

This left it between me and Kelly. I, personally, wasn’t very happy with either of these choices. Nothing against me or Kelly, but Marcus is DEFINITELY better at both guitar and leading. Probably more than either of us will ever be (well, than I will ever be, anyways). This left me with a pretty big dilemma. I didn't want to pridefully jump up to the spotlight, and proclaim myself ruler and dictator for life (or at least the rest of the school year) of the Praise Band. But, on the other hand, I didn't want to stand behind and do nothing if this is where God truly wanted me. I didn't have a solution to the problem, and left to itself it wasn't going to get solved, so yet again, God jumped in.

The first time we practiced without Marcus, I tried to defer to Kelly, I really did. But, somehow, I started jumping in with my suggestions, and for better or for worse, I started LEADING the practice. I didn’t mean for this to happen, but it did. By the time the next practice rolled around, Mr. Seaburg said it was time we chose leaders. And yet again, God surprised me. I got elected leader of the Praise Band.

And that's it. Now you see why it's a “Holy crap! Where did THAT come from?” moment. I don’t want to try to make sense of it all, because I’ve tried, and it’s not going to happen anytime soon. God’s the only one who can, because he planned it all. I mean, if ONE SINGULAR THING I’ve mentioned went differently, it would never have happened. God knows what he's doing.

I don’t feel adequate to lead the team, and other people in worship, so I think I’m going to have to defer to a higher power: God. I won’t make it about me, or the music, it needs to be all about God. If it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t be here, and without him, I can do nothing.

I hope this doesn't bore any of you, although I see no reason why it should. I know it's different than the rest of my entries up to this point, but I really needed to get it all off of my chest. I promise to return to my regular drivel next time.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Monday, October 13, 2003

I never thought I was old enough to feel nostalgic. But one day I was in hot topic and…. Umm, wait. Did I just say I was in hot topic one day? Maybe I should back up a bit……

I’m not usually the type of person who shops at hot topic, but this one day I just had to stop in. I was walking along in the mall with my sister (what, don’t YOU hang out at the mall with your sister?) when I saw a bunch of incredibly awesome Nintendo shirts in the window. I ran inside, and was awestruck. And not just by the amount of metal the clerk managed to fit onto his face. These were NICE Nintendo shirts. I mean, they had to be, what with the 18 dollar price tag (Which, consequently ended up with me not get any).

As I walked out of the store, I started thinking of the good old days… which I didn’t think was possible at 17. But, here I was, almost out of high school, wishing I still had my beloved Nintendo Entertainment System. I was struck with the sudden desire to play Super Mario Brothers again. Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or Double Dragon. Heck, I would’ve been satisfied with Duck Hunt. But alas, my mother had forced us to sell that beautiful collection of metal and electronics jumbled together inside a small, grey, plastic case years ago.

But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I HAD to get my Nintendo back, no matter what it took. Through fire, through rain, or at least through long lines I would tread. All in search of the great treasure that is the NES.

And thus, my search began… But where to look? Ebay? No, that would take too long. Gamestop? No, too expensive. No, the path I would go down would be much longer, much harder than all the others combined. But it would sure be cheaper. I am talking, of course about thrift stores.

Luckily, my Dad is the Supreme Lord of all thrift stores. He knows the name, location, and inventory of every thrift store in the Hampton Roads area, and probably beyond. I mean, once I happened to say I wanted some aviator glasses, and he comes home with a pair he found at a thrift store in St. Louis. St. Louis! I’m telling you, Supreme Lord.

So, I asked politely (well, yelled politely) for him to take me shopping, which isn’t a normal thing for a 17 year old to ask his dad to do. He agreed. Now, with the guy who probably founded the salvation army and just doesn’t want us to know about it, I set off in search of my NES.

The days were long, and the nights were short (I mean, 24 hours, tops) but at long last, we stumbled upon the treasure. Under a glass case normally reserved for jewelry it laid. A system, 2 controllers, and a dozen or so games, including: Super Mario Brothers 3, and Duck Hunt. A light gun, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles later (courtesy of Cash Converters), I was enjoying childhood memories in the comfort of my own room… and age.

The moral of the story: Hot Topic DOES exist for a purpose. And now that it’s served it, it can go out of business (cause then I could get those Nintendo shirts on sale).

Friday, October 10, 2003

Friday, October 10, 2003

The Human Race has reached a new low. I mean, I personally didn't think we could GO any lower, but lo and behold, we did.

We have elected Arnold Shwarzenegger to public office. The Terminator will now be running the state of california.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

You know, someday I'll probably look back on my life, and wonder what the heck I was thinking. I mean, it makes perfect sense in the present, but later on, it's just something to laugh about.

Consider my car. As many of you already know, He's a 1985 blue Honda Accord. He's old, but he's got character. I mean, seriously, If I call my car a 'he', he's got to have some character in him. But recently, it didn't seem like enough to just give him a gender. This car needed a NAME.

Now naming something is no easy matter, it takes time. Or at least thats what I thought. For what seemed like months, weeks, possibly even days, I poured over the possiblities. I asked people's opinions, and promptly realized they had no idea what the crap they were talking about. If I was gonna name this car, I was gonna have to do it by myself. So, I decided on the best course of action. I stared at him for a long time, intently waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, if you ever have the idea to do that, then let me warn you: don't. It doesn't work. All it does is make passerbys stare at you(which, interestingly enough, you can make into a pretty fun game in and of itself, but that's a completely different story)

I greatly took into account his personality, cause my car has personality. If yours doesn't, then that's only because my car is way more hardcore than your car. Anyway, I thought about naming him after a character in a song (Uncle Walter, Fred Jones, etc.), or my favorite chinese food(General Tso), even a comic book character(The Tick,although I'm not sure that was ever a comic book, I just saw the cartoon); but none of these seemed to match his personality. I knew my little car was WILD on the inside, and could easily beat the crap out of your car and make him wish he was born a minivan.

But it wasn't until I was driving to work on an extremely cold October morning at six AM (don't ask) before I really decided on a name for sure. You see, he doesn't have AC, but he's supposed to have heat. Well, today, he was having a little trouble waking up, and getting his poor little engine hot(seriously, he's got a V4....but he can still beat the crap outta your car). When I interjected "Come on, man, BURNINATE!", it hit me.

So, for those of you who are not H*R literate, my car's name is now Trogdor, The Burninator. Wear it with pride, man.

Well, I don't know if I'll remember that when I'm old and senile, but if I do, I'll remember to smile.

-til I get a life,

MovieMakinHobbit

Monday, October 06, 2003

Monday, October 06, 2003

I have a confession to make. It's not some huge sin that I decided to confess online to everyone who's reading this (All two of you), but enough that I feel guilty to admit it.

Okay, here goes: I listen to NPR. Now I know some of you were expecting something a little more, well, sinful. I mean, I'm just listening to classical music, right? Well, not exactly. You see, this is NPR TALK radio. You know, the boring kind of radio, on the boring kind of radio station. Yeah, THAT kind of radio. The kind where two old guys who obviously have too much phlem in their throats, and frequently seem to forget what they're saying mid-sentence, talk about the wide wide world of politics. But get this, now this is the weirdest part: I like it. I know, it sounds crazy, but It's true. One minute I turn on my car, and the radio is on 89.5 (which plays Jazz at night, {not crappy jazz, mind you, REAL jazz. But that's a different story}) Next thing I know I'm listening to two old guys in desperate need of a cough drop talking about public diplomacy in the Middle East. Before, I had no idea what the crap public diplomacy was, or why I should care about it. BUT NOW, I'm informed, I have opinions, and I'm waaay cooler than you.

You see, it feels quite empowering having an opinion on something. Even if no-one cares that you have an opinion on ANYTHING, much less one on Public Diplomacy in the Middle East. But I do, and I bet you don't.

You know, sometimes the smallest things make you feel special. 

Until I have an opinion that someone cares about- Matt Sam Thor

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Well, yeah. I got one of these too. So shoot me.

I'll try not to be TOO boring in this thing. I mean, I read some peoples and I get so freaking bored, I wonder why they even bother to update it. Not everyone, mind you, just some people's. So if you're sitting there crying because Matt thinks you have a boring weblog, then have faith, yours might just be the only one worth reading.

Okay, so far I seem to be doing REEELY well keeping this not boring. harrumph. Oh, and by the way that was the sarcasm sound. Since no-one can tell what's sarcastic over the internet and whats not, and since I use sarcasm all the time, it gets really annoying when people get confused(...stupid people...). So from now on, whenever I'm being sarcastic, whether online or not, I'll use the sarcasm sound. Harrumph. Oh, I wasn't being sarcastic there, I was just demonstrating the sound harrumph. Oh crap, I wasn't there either. dangit! This isn't turning out to be confusing, now is it?

Oh yeah, harrumph.

-Til I can make people not get confused by me,
Matt S. T.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Xangaagnax

Hey, just so you know, most of the following entries are from the dark ages (aka Xanga)

You've been warned.