Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy(?) Holidays!

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;

Additionally,

a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Partly cloudy with a chance of crazy.

Taken from my Google homepage:
whaaat?

Good heavens, I do believe someone has turned the earth upside down...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh Howie....

Why, oh why, Mr. Mandel? Why did you feel it necessary to rid yourself of those wonderful curls we came to know and love on Bobby's World? Does America REALLY want to see a bald Howie Mandel hosting Deal or No Deal?" (the newest reality-game show on NBC?).

Let the masses now shed a collective tear for the passing of howie mandel's hair.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fall

I’ve come to a realization, as I often do around this time of year, that I freaking love fall. I love the earlier nights. I love the brisk, cold days (within reason, that is). And I love how the changes in people’s clothes reflect the changing colors of the trees. It’s been making me reflective lately—which I suppose is why I’m blogging again.

Do you ever have an experience where life just seems like a work of art? Not in a big overarching sense, but in the sense of little isolated day-to-day experiences. You’re just there, living your little life, like you normally do. You’re doing homework, working at your job, talking to people, and the like when it just all of a sudden hits you. For some inexplicable reason, the exact same things that just a moment before seemed completely normal and routine now strike you as being incredibly beautiful, stunning, works of art.

This happened to me the other day. It was a warm, fall day (or at least as warm as fall days can be). The rust-red building stood in stark contrast to the graying blue sky. Next to it was a walkway, bricked black and red; deep green bushes separated the two. The walkway wound down the green grassy hill: Forest green—you know, like the crayon. But I didn’t notice any of that, I was focusing on the book I was reading for school.

Then, seemingly out from an orange amoeba-esque tree walked a girl. She seemed to be completely enveloped in autumn—in fact...she was autumn incarnate. Her dark auburn hair draped over her tasteful pink blouse, which hovered over her dirt brown knee-skirt. She walked briskly up the pathway. I noticed her skin tone, and realized that she was from the wrong time period. This fair skin wasn’t the product of tanning salons and bronzing creams, of superficiality and skin cancer. She was a time-traveller, come from the sixteenth century to stand in opposition to our faulty perception of beauty.

I know that all sounds cheesy, and kind of out-of-character for me (and just the slightest bit stalkerish), but art is often unexplainable—and most explanations end up lacking in one way or another. People often say that life imitates art, but I think that misses the point entirely. Life IS art, we’re usually just too caught up in it to notice.

And that’s why I love fall.

EDIT: Sometimes, Google ads can be incredibly ironic. I think it's very telling of our society that after I put up a post mentioning how I dislike tanned skin, 3 ads appear to the right advertising spray-on tans. Silly Google.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fina-frickin--lly

Okay, let's get this biznatch out of the way, in two really-really-rapid-fire movie reviews in which I will attempt to do in the shortest whole sentences possible:

The Island
I saw two different movies. The first one was a really bad sci-fi movie. it sucked. The second one was a pretty fun Michael Bay action movie. Come to find out they were both actually the same movie. This kind of cheapened the second one, making it feel slightly mediocre. But you aren’t seeing this movie for the sci-fi, are you? Just do yourself a favor, and come to the showing an hour late.

Murderball
Murderball will either sound like a very base, immature, jackass-esque film best for it’s power to offend, or an overly sappy, melodramatic “triumph-of-the human spirit” film. It’s neither. Rather, it’s one of the best films of the year. For those of you who don't know (which I'm assuming is most of you), it's a non-fiction film about quadriplegics playing wheelchair rugby (also known as Murderball). Don't bother re-reading that last sentence...you read it right. Despite what you may think, I cannot stress how amazing this movie was. Perhaps it was just in comparison to how it sounds, but still--highly recommended.

Crash
(this was scribbled on a piece of paper in the projection booth during the second showing of this movie, so it may be a bit longer than the other ones. I’ll just put word-for-word what I wrote there.)

I don’t usually like movies with “political” themes. And from what I had heard about Crash, it sounded like a politically themed movie. But I went to see it anyway—just because literally EVERY person I met who had seen it was completely gushing about it from the moment it was mentioned (that, and I happened to be projecting it at Parmer Cinema).

And let me tell you—Crash is one of the best movies this year so far (up there with Batman Begins and Murderball). It deals with a quote-unquote “political” theme, racism, but deals with it in a very non-political way. You don’t feel like you’re being sledge-hammered over the head with the director’s political views, rather you feel much more like you’re watching an accurate representation of REAL LIFE. You feel that these people are just so incredibly real, and simply reacting to their environment in a realistic way. Racism is more or less just shown here; and shown for what it is.

Also, I can’t talk about this movie at any length without mention it’s resemblance to another little multi-protagonist film called magnolia. There are many similarities, as far as no specific protagonist, and the presence of a large ensemble cast, but I feel that crash does an infinitely better job at this than Magnolia did. Both films supposedly show the interconnectedness between seemingly random people, but Crash does it much less confusingly, much less heavy-handedly, and—in my opinion—much less pretentiously.

Final Verdict
See this film as soon as humanly possible. Heads up: there is violence, a whole lot of language, and some nudity, so I wouldn’t recommend this film for absolutely everybody. But I think that this may turn out to be a very important film for this generation, and I would highly recommend a viewing.

CODA:And of course, I just saw another movie--Junebug. I liked it, but I really don't feel like writing a whole assesment of it right now. Maybe some other day. In other news, I just saw Fargo again and decided it's now on my top list of movies. For now, I'm hoping to actually WRITE on this blog. As opposed to putting off boring you all with my thoughts on movies. Cheerio!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Arrg!

Dost ye be talkin like a pirate today? Ye better be, lest ye be wantin' me ta run ye through with me dagger! Don't ye knowin that today is more important than all other days, fer today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

And don't ye forget it, lest I "forget" to post me rapid-fire-movie-reviews yet again...

TLAPD on Wikipedia
Official TLAPD website

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rapid-fire... uhh what?

Okay…here we go…

War of the Worlds:

THOUGHTS: War of the Worlds was, in one word, uneven. It had some very good moments, but it also had some very awkward and clunky moments. In my opinion, the moment we first see a tripod come out of the smoke works really well…in fact, I think that very well may be the best movie moment of the summer so far.

But for every part that worked very well, there were just as many that fell flat. And by flat, I mean FLAT. I don’t care what anybody says, the tentacle in the house was boring and tedious. Perhaps if I cared about the characters more, my disbelief could be suspended enough to actually be scared for them. But despite major acting talent, the movie is flawed by terribly uneven writing. It’s not even that the writing is BAD. It’s very dark and gruesome at times, but also unnecessarily cheery at others.

FINAL VERDICT: Go see it anyway. Sure, it’s uneven. Sure, some of the things the characters choose to do won’t make the slightest bit of sense. Sure, the ending employs dues ex machina(which, I admit, I wouldn’t have known the meaning of if it weren’t for the inside cover of a video game.). But the good moments are good enough it warrants at least one view.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

THOUGHTS: This movie was the one I looked forward to most expectantly at the beginning of the year. My excitement had waned in recent months, but I’m not quite sure why. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was wonderful. It outdoes the 70s movie in many ways, and yet it doesn’t ruin the experience of watching the old one. Johnny Depp plays quite a different character than Gene Wilder did, but it works perfectly for this particular film. I love Gene Wilder Wonka dearly, but that character wouldn’t have fit in with this film at all.

What I liked: the oompa loompa songs (which, unlike the old one, were the ones actually written by Roald Dahl [and sung by Danny Elfman]). The ending. I’m told it’s closer to the book’s ending, which I’ll admit I’m not qualified to say.

Also, I found the title quite ironic. The old one, named “Willy Wonka” was—in actuality—about Charlie. But the new one, named “Charlie” delves much more into the character of Willy Wonka than of Charlie. I very much liked the way Tim Burton dealt with it, and liked even more seeing Christopher Lee on screen (yeah, you’d think it’d get old after a while…).

(And as a sidenote: I think that it is scientifically proven that Christopher Lee will never die. If this were to happen, the universe would simply cease to exist.)

FINAL VERDICT: See it. Have fun. Repeat as desired

Okay, I know that that’s only two movies. I’ve got 2 left to be written (plus one for crash that I wrote shortly after seeing it.) So bear with me. They’ll all be up eventually for all of my adoring fans to read and gush over my glorious movie-analyzing and writing ability. Cheerio.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

so yeah. My hard drive crashed. so no rapid-fire movie reviews for a little while at least. I'll try to post something at least before school, but don't be heartbroken if I don't.

(and thus ends the shortest and most pointless post ever to exist on Matt's humble blog...)

P.S. to give this post some semblance of meaning, here's some interesting information and such things on my former self:

http://www.rebelswithavision.com/MatthewThornton.net/
http://www.colonialhall.com/thornton/thornton.php




Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Auckgh, I'm getting veclempt! talk amongst yourselves, I'll give you a topic...

I’ve been wondering something:

Do I not update because my life is boring?

Or is my life boring because I don't update?

No seriously, stop and think about it. I think there may just be something to that idea. I think that maybe the act of updating my blog helps make my life less boring. Or rather, it makes me more aware of why my life isn’t really so boring after all.

In updating my blog, I normally write about something that happened in my life recently. And writing about something in my life forces me to think about my experiences, in whatever mundane way that may be (be it reviewing movies I’ve seen [—which I’m seriously behind in, by the way… -ed.], talking about people I’ve waited on, or just saying what I did that day). And thinking about it, whether I realize it or not, makes me evaluate my life as a whole.

And I suddenly appreciate all the little things in life, insignificant without proper perspective. But when looked upon in their entirety, at least provide enough material for a fairly interesting blog post. (At least. At most, they give me deep existential truths about mankind and existence—truths that, when properly organized, can be written into book form, sold to millions of people, thus giving me enough money to finally put into play my master plan for world domination!)

Woah. I never realized updating my blog was so important.

Meh. Maybe I’m just making things up, being overdramatic and shizz—but if I want an epiphany, I’m gonna have an epiphany, dangit!

P.S. Expect a post full of rapid-fire movie reviews soon. I’ve seen three movies since I’ve last posted, and with each one, I feel more and more guilty about not reviewing them. So I’m gonna get all my guilt out in one fell swoop, so be watching out for the proverbial swooping scythe/scimitar/machete/katana/some other exotic weapon/sharp object.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Red, White and Stupid

So yesterday at Kelly's, I was waiting on this one older couple (yesterday being my first day of waiting tables at Kelly’s by myself). This couple was quite particular about their order. This couple was british. She wanted a Baked Potato instead of a Rice Pilaf, and he wanted a side of Black Beans and rice instead of French Fries.

So I got them their order, just the way their anal little british selves wanted it. Only come to find out the potato is overcooked, and the black beans and rice are not hot enough to their liking. I quickly run to the kitchen to remedy the situation, but when I return, I find only a slightly annoyed british couple sitting there at their british table, asking for their british check, cause their british food wasn't to their british liking. I give it to them, and sensing that their experience has been less than inviting, I try to salvage it with a last-ditch effort. I apologize about their potato, and wish them a happy 4th of July.

Oops.

Note to self: when serving an irritated couple from a country other than your own, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, remind said couple that their country of origin was once a great superpower, only to be supplanted in importance by another country that was at one time under their domain.

...They didn't leave a very big tip.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Batman Begins

For the longest time, Batman was my favorite superhero. I had watched reruns of the campy 60s TV show since I was a kid, and I loved every minute of it. The “BOOM”s, the “POW”s, the “Holy Smackerjacks, Batman”s and the “Old Chum”s—I loved it all. It wasn’t until much later that I learned the meaning of the word “campy”. To me, it was all real, and it was all serious.

But then came adolescence—and cynicism. I began to realize that no self-respecting billionaire playboy would really put on tights and spend his nights fighting crime. Tragic death of parents? Psh—who cares? Lots of people have childhood tragedies, and none of them decide to dress up as a bat and fight clowns. My love of batman faded. I eventually did rediscover Batman—primarily through the Animated Series of the early 90s (which, by the way, was one of the most brilliant cartoons of all time)—but I still had in the back of my mind that it was all a bit ridiculous, and—let’s face it—unbelievable.

But luckily for me, Christopher Nolan doesn’t share my cynicism. After four Batman films that just got progressively more and more ludicrous, the studio wisely decided to take a break of almost seven-years and completely restart the series. For the task of resurrecting it, they chose the aforementioned Chris Nolan; who was quite an unlikely choice, since his fame was mostly due to films like Memento and Insomnia—low-budget thrillers; not huge-budget summer blockbusters.

But as it turns out, Nolan is the perfect choice to redirect the franchise, primarily because of his ability to ground the strange and unbelievable in reality—or at least a completely believable fantasy. He’s crafted not only a plausible explanation for why Bruce Wayne chooses to don a mask and cape and fight crime, but manages to keep the believability at maximum—even to the very end.

It’s not a perfect movie, of course. For all it’s attempts to be realistic it has a couple major plot holes. I won’t go into it, for spoilers sake, but suffice to say, I really don’t think they detract from it’s believability, or—more importantly, it’s enjoyability.

Batman Begins is hands down the best Batman movie to date (although, to be fair, it didn’t have much competition), and it may very well rival some for the spot of best superhero movie ever made. Myself, I really can’t think of a better one, but I don’t think I’d call it the best superhero movie for one basic reason: It really isn’t a superhero movie. It doesn’t make the movie all about the costume, or the fight scenes, or the powers (he has none). In the end, the movie isn’t really about Batman. It’s about Bruce Wayne. It’s about how this young man deals with his inner demons of fear, guilt, and anger; and how he confronts those feelings head-on by making his symbol that which he is terrified of— the bat.

And in the end, that’s what really makes the movie more believable than those that have come before it. Not the explanations of why he does what he does, or how all the gadgets work; but the fact that this man is a real human being. A real human being behind a mask.

EDIT: I wanted to put this in the review up there, but I couldn’t really work it in, so here goes: The one thing that I think this movie didn’t get quite right was Gotham City itself. In his attempt to make everything as real as possible, Chris Nolan essentially made Gotham a modern metropolis (apart from the old-style railway that runs through it due to plot concerns).

Now I may be alone in this, but to me, part of what made the mythos of Batman so enamoring was the whole 40s atmosphere about it. I know this is mostly from the Animated Series(which I still hold to be the best incarnation of Batman), but the whole thing felt like an old film noir movie. It was ‘lit’ very harshly, all the guns were tommy guns, all the cars were old Gangster cars. To be honest, this wouldn’t have worked at all in the movie, and I can understand why they didn’t go this route. And I think that’s kind of sad, because I would really like to see it someday. Oh well, I’ll stop my nerdly, rambling, complaining now. Just go see the movie, dangit.

NEXT UP: War of the Worlds

Monday, June 27, 2005

Lazy Daze...(of cliches...)

Today was a lazy day. I hadn't had a lazy day in a long time. I had asked my manager at CFA to give me less hours since I'm picking up a second job, which means I’m only working 3 days this week, and I’m off everyday by 12. But since I’m not working at Kelly's until Saturday, I've got a pretty chill week ahead of me (which I hope will result in me actually getting some writing done...).

Today, I not only had the day off, but my parents were still in Pennsylvania from dropping off my little brother and sister at Csehy Summer School of Music (but I just say Band Camp...cause people always seem to laugh when I say that. Some day, I'll kill you, American Pie...some day...). So not only will I have my own room for the next two weeks (which, also, may result in me actually getting some writing done), but I also virtually had the house to myself today.

So, after waking up at like 12, I had a nice crispy bagel smothered with I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter, and a nice, long quiet time. And for the first time since I've been home, the modifier of quiet has actually applied to the time when I open God’s word. It was nice to just relax and listen to the quiet, something I'm almost never able to do anymore.

So anyway, Today I did some stuff I'd been meaning to do ever since I got home. Like see what the supposed "new Village Thrift" was like. For those not in the know, Village Thrift was quite possibly the coolest thrift store ever to grace the planet earth...until it got shut down for hiring illegal immigrants. (stupid Mexicans…). Anyway, this new one was had supposedly taken over the title of "best thrift store in hampton roads". Verdict: Meh. It's not Village. But I got a cool green shirt anyway.

On my way home, I stopped by town center, and drove around. It was still very much under construction, but it was odd...In some places I actually felt like I was in the downtown of a big city, not my crappy little town of vabeach (pronounced, of course, vah-beach).

Anyway, in other news, I saw Batman Begins again, and a review will be up as soon as I feel like typing it up. Which will most likely be sometime between now and before it comes out on DVD.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The wedding was sweet, I must say. It, more than any other before it, truly made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I was really happy afterwards, and I (as well as everyone else) got some loose tea + a tea bag to put it in. It smells so good, I don't want to make it. Also, they say that smell is the sense closest tied to memory, and every time I smell it, it makes me quite happy. I think it'll be staying on my desk for quite a while.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the happy couple. (and I warn you, this photo has not been digitally altered in any way. He really was THIS happy)

The (extremely) happy couple

*happy, girly, sigh*

Okay, I think I need to work on cars or something to make me feel more manly. As soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Matt Returns

And by “expect great things”, I of course meant, expect me to not post anything for like a month. Oyg. Embarrassing… Moving on..

Chik Filla
I’m still working at Chick-Fil-A. It’s still fairly crappy, but I’m living with it; mostly because I got all the paperwork in for my $1000 scholarship. It’ll be like 4-6 weeks before I get it back, but as soon as it does, I’m gonna jet outta there. Why so soon, you might ask? Well, my friend, I’ll tell you. You are talking to the newest waiter for Kelly’s Tavern and Family Restaurant (Well, technically you aren’t actually TALKING to me, but saying “You are now reading the blog of the newest waiter for Kelly’s Tavern and Family Restaurant” just sounded silly).

The pay is 2.13 an hour (it’s so low, as any good nickeled-and-dimed audience member would know, because we’re expected to make up the rest of it in tips. What the play failed to mention, however was that if by some miracle my wages and my tips were less than minimum wage, my employer would have to make up the difference. Pfeh. Stupid liberals). In any event, I’ll be getting paid much more than I am now. I’m getting trained this Saturday and Sunday, and the place opens this Monday. Fun Fun Happy Happy!

But for at least the next month or so, I’ll be working 2 jobs. And of course Chick-Fil-A just got slightly more interesting, now that my beautiful sister Lenee is now working there. I’ll admit, I’m still not used to the sight of my little uniformed sister carrying lemonade up to the front, or making wraps in the back, or wiping off tables in dining room, but meh…I’ll get used to it—At least for the next month or so.

Batman
I’ll make this short, but if you haven’t seen Batman Begins yet, please go out and remedy this as soon as possible. It’s most definitely the best Batman movie ever made (With the possible exception of the 1968 Adam West Version), and may very well be the best Superhero movie I’ve ever seen. But, like I said, I’m keeping this short. I hope to see it again, and if I do, I’ll post up a review or something (and give myself a chance to be all Film-Majory. woot.)

Chris+Mb=Wedding??
Tomorrow, I have a rehearsal. For a wedding. A wedding involving two people that I not only KNOW, but would actually consider FRIENDS. And not friends like “first-name-basis” kinda friends, or like “trading-music” kinda friends. No, these are friends like “I-spent-the-entire-day-with-last-week” kinda friends, or “We-were-in-choir-when-I-was-twelve-years-old” kinda friends, and yes, even “We-shared-indigestion-at-a-White-Castle-in-Louisville-Kentucky” kinda friends. Heyheah. That’s some hardcore friendship right there.

And they’re getting married on Friday. And then they’re moving in together. And then they’re gonna do……married people stuff.

And I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of calling two married people by their first names. You might not realize the significance of this, but I’ll be calling them “Chris” and “Marybeth”, and not “Mr. and Mrs. Haggard”.

It’s sort of scary. A friend’s wedding. That’s a first.

But the scarier thing is this: It won’t be the last.

UPDATE:
Digits
This is pretty important, but I didn't want to bump this post down that much, so I'll just make it longer.

I got a cell phone.
DSC04280


DSC04278



I'm so happy...
DSC04277

(and in case you were wondering...It's 757.297.6228)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Just a reminder...

< irony >

You scored as white. you are white.

white

92%

asian

50%

black

25%

latino

25%

Are you a different race than you think you are?
created with QuizFarm.


Whew. That's a relief...
< /irony >

Thursday, May 26, 2005

a lot

Things change. A lot. (that is, a lot of things change; and said lot of things change a lot).

I've been coming to grips with that truth a lot recently. I started my job back at chick-fil-a again this week, and it's weird how different things are. It’s not so much Chick-Fil-A that’s changed—the building’s the same, and most of the managers are the same—it’s just my co-workers that are the problem. They’re just plain weird. And it’s not even the cool kind of weird—no, it’s the creepy kind of weird. Like the stare-at-matt-and-say-random-things-having-to-do-with-sharp-objects-and-firearms kinda weird. Or the I-whistle-incessantly-not-realizing-I-can’t-whistle-worth-crap kinda weird. And then there’s I-think-I’m-funny-and-entertaining-even-though-it’s-painfully-obvious-that-I’m-not kinda weird. Oh, and then there’s the I-was-homeschooled kinda weird *shudder*.

Actually, it's not so much that there's a bunch of new people that are just weird, it's just that all the old normal people that used to balance out the old weird people aren't there any more, thus leaving the old weird people (and a few new weird people) to run rampant. It’s kinda sad, but oh well. I’ve got to make money somehow (and Lenee’s probably gonna work there over the summer. Woohoo!).

I've also been seeing a lot of the old gang recently. And even there, people are all a-changin'. I've been to KEYS concert (in fact PLAYED in a KEYS concert), a Boy Scout court of honor, a YMV concert, and of course Prom, and I've met (and re-met) a lot of people. It’s been fun, but it’s also been strange. I mean, I knew that all the Juniors from last year were graduating this year, but it never really settled in until now that they’re really gonna do it. Like, in a year from now, they’ll be exactly where I am. Done with their first year of college, visiting their old friends, wondering where all their time went. Wondering what happened to the person they used to be.

I re-read all my blog posts (including comments) from the beginning (almost 2 years ago) to the present. And I noticed a definite difference in what my posts are like now and what they were like a year or two ago. It's almost like I'm a different person now--or at least the same person who happens to write differently. It's kind of discouraging, actually. My writing from back then was much more interesting than anything I've written recently. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve got less things to write about, or less time to write about it, or if it’s just because I myself have changed.

I really hope it’s not the last one. I like the person I used to be--and I like the way I used to write.

So, either way, I’m gonna try to bring up my writing quality—both on this blog, and in my own personal writing. So expect great things my friends…or at least slightly more interesting things. And expect them a lot.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Prom

Everybody posted about prom, so I figured I'd do that too.

DSC04053


That was the only one of my pictures that really came out that was worth seeing. Prom in one sentence: Fun, much less drama than last year, glad I went.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

End of an era

Well, that's it. It's over. My childhood is gone.

I've always been a huge sci-fi nerd. And when I say always, I mean ALWAYS.

I remember falling asleep on my mom's lap when I was eight, with the last thing I saw before I nodded off was Commander Riker and Data on the bridge of the Enterprise. I was so mad I had fallen asleep, and had my mom tell me everything that had happened. When I turned 12, I recieved a Captain Picard action figure for my birthday--and I liked it. When TNG ended (and yes, I refer to them as TOS, TNG, DS9, VGR, and ENT), I watched DS9 religiously. Every thursday night at 9, we would tune in to UPN 27, and watch the adventures of Captain Sisko, and the crew of Deep Space Nine and the Defiant. Those ended up being the days that I look on with the most fondness--watching the changeling infiltration of the Klingon Empire, and the eventual outbreak of the Dominion War.

And despite the fact that I got into arguments with other kids about how Star Trek was better than Star Wars, I still loved those movies too. In fact, until fairly recently, I owned a rather sizeable (2000+) collection of Star Wars trading cards. I remember going through the Special Edition VHS tapes in one sitting. I remember going through frame by frame, making sure I knew every single alien in the Cantina. I remember sitting, as a 13 year old kid through The Phantom Menace the first time, thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I remember tripping and falling outside of the theater the second time, wanting to go see the movie despite my broken and bleeding toe.

i

am

a nerd.

But now, it's all over. The last episode of Star Trek aired last Friday, and I just saw the last episode of Star Wars yesterday. My childhood is now gone. I feel like I'm no longer the same person who watched Star Trek with his mom, or sat on his dad's lap during the TIE fighter scene, being jostled to feel like he's part of the action. I'm a college student, home for the summer, working at the same job that I've been at for almost 3 years.

Whoopie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Binging and Purging

So, I wanted to post as soon as I got back, only to find that we didn't have internet. Then I wanted to post as soon as we got internet, but I was too lazy, so I didn't. Anyway, now I'm updating, so chill.

I've gone on a DVD buying binge recently, having purchased:

Adaptation
School of Rock
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Lost in Translation
Being John Malkovich
Signs
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2-disc DVD set)

The reason for this was all of the above movies were under 8 dollars (except The Life Aquatic, which came with a free team Zissou red beanie--I HAD to splurge for it). Today I watched Being John Malkovich with Jordan and Bethany...and I fear they will never listen to my advice with movies again.

But the other thing occupying my time has been cleaning my room. It's weird. As soon as I got home, I knew I had to rearrange it. I feel kind of girly--it's not in my nature to have a desire for interior decorating (I attribute it to my paisley shirt I wore today). Anyway, it's an ongoing project, but it much more closely resembles my room setup at college. I just need to purge my old bookshelf of all the useless crap on it, and get a new one from the thrift store. And then fill it with books. And then read them all.

Ahh, summer.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Lather, Rinse...

Watch. Laugh. Repeat as desired.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Finding my voice

Oh my gosh. Last night was awesome. Like, really, really awesome. I can't even describe to you how awesome it was. The quality of the movies was just really up there, pretty much all around the board. And I'm rather surprised to say that mine went over pretty well. I didn't think many people would get the jokes, and it would feel too much like an insiders movie.

But apparently I was wrong. There was a good response to it last night. I think my ego owes a debt of gratitude to the Messiah College student body. I think coffeehouse is proof that they'll cheer at just about anything that has any semblance of talent. But regardless, they liked it, and it was very validating

But not nearly as validating as what came next. After the festival, professor Park decided to treat all the film majors to Denny's. After eating, and a Saved by the Bell trivia contest (in the episode where they went to a party, got drunk, and crashed the car, what expensive part did they need to replace [answer: water pump]), park came to sit at our table, and we chilled for a while. It was easily the high point of my semester-- but it was also a real bittersweet night, because we all knew he wasn't coming back next semester.

But anyway, as it was winding down, and we were all about to leave, he said, "Oh, before I forget, Matt. I wanted to say--You really surprised me this semester." He went on to say how he didn't like my observation film (neither did I), but I'd shown improvement with every one. He said that by the end, my improvement was tremendous. And I must say, I had thought my films got progressively better as well, but hearing it from his mouth somehow made it all worth it. I wanted to cry I was so happy--it was a very validating thing.

And it's kinda funny. My two best films were about things I loved. They were the films that were FUN to make. They were actually my fallback films--like "If this really artsy idea that Park'll love doesn't work out, I'll make this fun little movie about legos and tetris (or star wars as, um...as it were...)". I guess it's really the geeky things that define my existence. The movies that I like to make are the ones about geeky things (Legos, Tetris, Star Wars, my upcoming NES(duck hunt) movie, etc.), because those are the things I like.

Park was talking a few weeks ago about finding your voice as a filmmaker. I think I may have just found mine.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Parkies

Wednesday, May 4th.
7PM.
Parmer Cinema.

Film Festival.

Be there.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Here we go again

Well, here's the deal. I've got my final project for digital production (narrative) due a week from tomorrow. That, coupled with finals week, means that I'll be abstaining from the use of the internet until further notice. I'm going to disconnect my ethernet cable, and have my roomate hide it. No E-mail, no web, no watching Battlestar Galactica episodes on the server, and no blogging until at least the second week of may. It's crunch time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Priceless

iPod: $299
Carrying case and in-ear headphones: $39
The presidential Election: $126 million in campaigning costs
Stealing music: Free

Having that information released to the public and being sued by the RIAA: Priceless

Gear Live | George W. Bush Steals Music

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Truth trumps worry

I apologize for not updating for real in a while. I also apologize in advance if this post is long-winded, makes no sense, is emotional or whatever. I'm just writing to get my thoughts out there.

But basically my life has been a jumble recently. It's a combination of a bunch of random feelings, thoughts and realizations. Like the realization of just how much my life has changed from a year ago. When I go home this summer, everything will be different; it's almost like it won't really be home: My church will have a different senior pastor. Paul Thomas will live in Texas. There won't be a YMV (my old Homeschool group), or at least not the YMV I knew. And then I hear news of people I used to go to YMV with (both those that are now at KEYS, and those that have graduated) and that gets me down as well. And this July, for the first time in almost 10 years--that's the majority of my life--there will not be a celebration (for those not in the know, celebration is a multi-church retreat at liberty university, and has become a very important event every year for spiritual growth, and hanging out and getting to know how to know people. It will leave a void in my summer. I'm not looking forward to it not existing). I may go back to Chick-Fil-a for a little while, but very few (if any) of the old people will still be working there. And then I'll probably get a job somewhere else, where I'll know even less people. It really just seems like my past is slipping out from my fingers--and the harder I try to hold on to it, the more of it slips away. Of course, not every change is a bad thing. I'm kind of looking forward to having Keith as a pastor, and not working at chick-fil-a. But the fact that it'll be different and alien will still be unsettling.

But even if I manage to get a mental hold of my ill-begotten past, then up comes my future, and he proceeds to crack at me with a double flying backflip asskick. I found out last week that one of my two film professors is leaving--the one that teaches all of the production classes. I was fortunate enough to be able to take Digital Production a year early--and that'll be the last class he teaches. I was signed up to take 16mm in the fall, but now that's in question. Is Messiah even gonna hire a replacement for him? They haven't been that great to the film program in the past, and there's no reason to think that they will be in the future. But the even bigger thing in question is my entire college career. Does this mean I should leave Messiah? Or would that be copping out? Even if i did leave, where would I go? Community college? ODU? how do I know my credits would even transfer? oyg. just oyg.

And then of course there's the immediate future. I've got a bunch of speaker responses from Intro to COM that I haven't written, and they're due on wednesday. And then there's my group presentation due a week from friday, about supernatural gifts (which I haven't worked on at all, by the way). Heh. Oh yeah. And then I've got to write and shoot my final narrative--for which I haven't even decided on a story idea. And then there's my insecurities about film: Do I really want to do it? If so why? Have I found my "style" yet? Do I want to direct? Do I want to write? If so, do I even want to write films? Am I even any good at writing? Why does my professor like the one film that I farted out in two days rather the other two that I planned for weeks in advance? I don't really know.

But even with all of that, I'm okay. No really, I am. Honestly, It's weird how just one thing can change everything --when God is involved. I went to a worship practice at Living Hope (the Sovereign Grace church of Harrisburg) last night, and met some cool people. And not only cool, but cool people that were passionate about God and His Church. That one two-hour meeting was enough to counter all of the bad feelings that I just mentioned.

One guy there, when I said I was from Virginia Beach, asked me if I knew the song "Truth". I said that yeah, my worship leader co-wrote it, and I had a copy in my dorm room. He asked if he could have a copy, and i said sure. So I made one today, and happened to glance at it afterward.

The truth is You cause the sun to rise
and dance into my window
The truth is You order every step
including those I fear
The truth is when first You made the stars
My name was on Your heart
The truth is the more I know of you
The more my heart rejoices


Truth

trumps

worry.

....sigh...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The calm before the Procrastination

I've been/ am currently pretty busy, with a film project, two midterms, a paper and a presentation this week. I'm gonna take some time off to do that crap, and I'll try to resume my semi-regular posting schedule after Easter.

Shalom!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I know it's a little late, but i thought I'd post some pretty pictures of snow, while it's still winter.


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And last, but not least--The Fire Hydrant: The Conclusion
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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Excuses, Excuses

I'm home, and I thought I should blog about that. But on the fact that I'm so freaking lazy (and that my break is incredibly boring so far), That's gonna be about it. See you later.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Yay?

I have news. Well, this isn't news to all of you, some of you already know. Actually, a lot of you probably know. In any event, I just thought it was high time to let the whole world know of my change in lifestyle...

I got a job. I know, I know. I'm a film major, and film majors aren't supposed to work (at least not according to my roomate's girlfriend, who apparently should know, she lives with 3 of them). But I did. I sucked it up, and decided that I couldn't be an individual any longer. It had come time for me to conform to what my society told me to be like. Particularly in the area of needing so-called "money" to exchange for so-called "goods" and "services". And apparently, in order to come into the possession of this "money", one needs to "work" and get a "job" as they call it(that is, a position in which an indidual does said "work")

Oh, well. I guess I could only have been a slacker for so long. They scheduled me on my most sparse days, those being Tuesday and Thursday (one class plus chapel), and Friday (only 2 classes, and not until 12). The best part is, I'm being scheduled to work at 9 or 10 on tuesdays/thursdays, meaning that not only do I not have to ATTEND chapel, I'll be PAID to not attend chapel.

But of course, every silver lining has a cloud. Also, every little puppy has a big dump in the backyard. My own proverbial big dump will be coming tomorrow at 6:30.

In the morning.

Yay.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Film Major Level

So yeah, my observation film turned out kinda...mediocre. I know I can do better.

Oh, well. I'll live (and do better next time)

Anyway, I just saw Constantine. All I have to say is: "Woah". Seriously, it wasn't what I was expecting--either from a comic book movie or a first-time director, or heck, even an action film. It's good on a lot of levels: the editing is tight, the mise-en-scene and art direction are superb, the cinematography is spectacular, and the acting is surprisingly passable. But, I probably shouldn't say any of that. I'll just go with what my roomate told me to say.

Ahem. The fight scenes were cool. The Special effects looked sweet. Oh, and I liked it on a "Film Major Level", too.

Heh, Film Major Level... It sounds like a stage in an old school 8-bit side-scrolling Nintendo game. I can see it now: You fight your way through all the minions (who, of course have camcorders in their hands, trying to convince you to be in their films "You'll be a star!" they say right before you slash at them and they explode in a huge fireball) you try your best not to get in any of their shots. Eventually you move up to 16mm students, and the ones getting all pissed at the Editing stations ("Don't wanna recognise my hard drive? Recognize this, bitch!"). Finally, you come to the boss, Professor Simmons. He suddenly transmutates into Boss mode. He gets like 20 times bigger, starts breathing fire, and wails on you with his deadly rambling attack and confusing metaphors strike.

Dang. That sounds like a pretty sweet game. Somebody make that.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Objerbation Fiurm

So I've been working on my project for digital production. It's an Objerbation Fiurm (which, for the uninitiated, is Park-speak for "Observation Film"), and I'm ObJerBing a Piano. Well, someone playing a piano, to be exact. Someone, I may add, who is not me.

Oh, and by "working" I don't actually mean going out and actually DOING stuff. To the untrained eye, It just looks like I've been drawing pictures and writing a jumble of random, unrelated words onto a sheet of paper. But no! In reality, I've been drawing pictures and writing a jumble of random, unrelated words onto a sheet of paper. Hard work, but someone's got to do it.

But seriously, if you think about it, pray for this production. Especially on saturday at around 7 or so. This is my first real film project. There's some stuff I want to be able to do, that I'm not sure if I'll be able to. Like for that last sentence to make sense, for example.

Oh and perchance does anyone know a feasible way to get an overhead shot without putting myself in mortal danger? Cause, I mean, I'm all for the mortal danger part...Just so long as there's no possiblity of me dying.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Greatest Adventure.....

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My Travelling companions

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Our faithful steed

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Our fearless navigator

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Our destination: The Wells' house in Hollidaysburg, PA


I've got some more on Flickr. Click on one to look at them all.

Friday, February 11, 2005

brb

Hey. I'm off to Hollidaysburg with my boys Matt Wells and Brian Duffield. We'll be staying at Wellseys house, and it shall be the sweet. I'll be back on Sunday, and I'll try to take some pictures and photoblog when I get back. And hey, if a picture's worth a thousand words, and if i post just 4 pictures from the trip, that's one wordy photoblog!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Gotta have more cowbell!

We got a break from good weather today. It was quite a relief, I must say. I was getting terribly bored with being in such a good mood all the time. Now, at long last, I can return to my misery that is school life.

Oyg.

It's weird how much the weather can change one's mood, isn't it? Or is it weird how much my mood can change the weather... hmm.

Anyway. I saw The Stepford Wives the other night. No, not that one, the OTHER one. And after viewing that injustice apon the cinema I must say: It was quite the train wreck. Well, perhaps not. Because usually train wrecks are fun to watch. This was not. Make no mistake, it was terrible. Pick one aspect of the movie, and I'll tell you what was wrong with it. Dialogue, acting, pacing, editing, lighting, "special effects"... hell, even sexual innuendo. Oyg. Any movie that has a noticeable problem with innuendo (and calling it that is giving it waaaay too much credit) is just....bad.

Now, I haven't seen the new version, but I think it has to be 10 times better than this one. Even if only by virtue of the fact that Christopher Walken is in it.

Sigh. Now only if every movie did...what a world this would be...

(P.S. Yes, I stole the line about the new stepford wives from my good friend matthew wells. So sue me (I know you will))

Monday, February 07, 2005

the obligatory superbowl post

I seem to be gifted with the ability to slack off, and not get supremely punished about it. Like last night, when it was 12:05 and I had to read philosophy. I had slacked off all weekend, even going to a superbowl party with my roomate rather than being responsible and doing my homework. But, I guess God realized that I'm a film major, and I haven't had my share of getting out of work this semester. I finished it like a half-hour later.

Oh, and yeah. I watched the super bowl. And yeah, I don't care in the slightest about football. When someone asked me who I thought would win, I replied "Batman Begins, hands down." Although I have to admit, Constantine and War of the Worlds seemed mighty impressive.

Also, Paul McCartney was his usual pompous self in the halftime show. I mean, having no tit flash was a relief (although that may have made him seem much less pointless). I mean, I wonder how the guitar player felt having been given a famous dead guy's solos? He's lucky John Lennon's ghost didn't come up and tear his fingers off.

But I digress. I just hope that the campus becomes much more interesting because of the Patriots win. I'm predicting a high of 50 with a chance of riots.

Heh. That'd be sweet.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I think therefore i suck

I've concluded that philosophy is nothing more than obvious ideas put into long convoluted sentences, meant for the express purpose of destroying all lucidity that there may have been in the first place and leaving the reader pulling at his (or her, to be gender-inclusive) hair furiously, while the philosopher goes home with money in his pocket because he sold a textbook or two.

I mean, maybe that's going a little too far, but did Aristotle really think he was making the concept easier to understand when he said "To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true."?? Seriously, I'm positive there has to be an easier way to express that...

But ehh, who cares? We get to watch the Matrix in class. Why am I complaining?

Oh yes, that's right. becuase it's 12:05 at night, i have to read the before tomorrow, and I have no clue what Bertrand Russell is talking about. Heh, forgot about that one...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sorry guys, I saw my shadow

Well, after a strenuous J-term, i can finally take a breath and post.

And by strenuous, i of course mean the easiest class I will ever take. For you unenlightened ones, J-term is a special term Messiah does in the month of January where everyone takes a really intense class for 3 hours long every day. Most people have more homework than they'd ever had, or are likely to ever have again. I however, in my infinite film-majorosity had digital editing, which was split into two groups (16 people + 8 computers= class only twice a week). In addition it was so mind numbingly easy (no homework+class twice a week=dead brain) You may wonder what I did with all this free time. Well, I'll tell you one thing I DIDN'T do, and that's blog. And I have no real logical explanation why, it's just that I'm a lazy ass (used in the biblical sense, there).

but ANYWAY... today (february 2nd) is my birthday. 19 years ago, I came into this world naked, crying, not knowing a thing about life, and today I stand, clothed.

so leave me birthday comments in the....umm..well, comments.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Shaved a mustache and a mullet, quit my job at chick-fil-a...

“Oyg. I’ve done almost nothing but work since I’ve gotten home.” Says I.
“Oh, where do you work?” is the usual response.
“Chick-Fil-A” I acknowledge grudgingly.
“Oh really? I LOVE that place.”

Then I’m either asked if I happen to have a chicken sandwich on my person specifically for them, or if I knew that Chick-Fil-A was Christian owned and operated.

“Oh, really?” I say.
“Yeah, they’re closed on Sunday and stuff.” Says they.
“Heh, didn’t know that. Too bad I don’t WORK there or anything.”

Seriously, though. You people don’t realize the extent to which Chick-Fil-A sucks the life out of you. It’s probably not restricted to Chick-Fil-A, I think most of my feelings towards the chain in question would be easily transferable to any fast-food establishment. After a day of work, doing anything productive is not very high on my list of things to do. It’s at number 73, in fact—right below going to a nickelback concert and right above gnawing off my own limb. Nope, I’d much rather do such varied and stimulating activities watching the telly, logging on to the Internets, eating week-old bran cereal, or maybe even sleeping.

It’s sad, too, cause I was intending on getting some writing done over break. There’s an idea I’ve been hammering out into a script. I wrote 4 pages of it during finals week. It is now at 5 pages. Yay. Also, I wanted to blog, but couldn’t. My break was just so incredibly boring, there was little to blog about. You’d think that a blog about chick-fil-a would be entertaining, but you’d be wrong.

It’s not even that the work is particularly challenging. It’s just draining, physically and mentally. I’m still trying to recover from it. (hence the lack of blog entries..a sad side effect that shall soon be remedied)