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.