Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ben Questions the Billions, Vol.3

So ya guys all hear about Ken's party? Good.

Okay, this is a column that hasn't seen the light of day for awhile, but I'm bringing it back to see if it's salvageable at all. So I got a double dose of queries coming your way. Sorry if you've heard them before. They are original in my head, but that doesn't mean much.

This one pertains to my epic slacking over the last week:
Is it still a break if it is the majority of your time? Example: I am currently taking what has been a 40 minute break after doing approximately 6 minutes of work.

And from current events:
How shitty does your country have to be to be declared fourth world? What level of revoltingly pathetic suffering is needed such that the Third World countries don't want to be associated with you?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

So I was at the beach for a couple days,

and I ended up wondering three things: what angle into the ocean would you have to look if you wanted to be staring directly at Honolulu (given the curvature of the Earth, and you're standing at Ecola State Park), how many times in an average lifetime does the line from your heart to the center of the Earth hit someone else on the other side, and in The Thomas Crown Affair, how does he fold the painting into his briefcase without cracking what looks like a solid wooden frame?

If you can help me with any of those, uh, great. In fact, Bang Away!

If you can't, then you're down-to-earth enough to come to my house on New Year's Eve for a party. Yes, you. Anyone who reads this blog is invited, and so is anyone who doesn't read the blog who you like. Please, feel free to say "Hey, did you see Ken's blog post about his New Years' Party", and then point out that they're invited even though I didn't actually get to talk to the celebrant in question.

So, details: party will start between six and seven, allowing for movie/s and other undecided entertainment. (The strippers will be in the garage--they've already been practicing their dance with the power tools. Ladies, the Crown Prince of England is scheduled to arrive somewhere around eight.) We will feed you. As for the actual moment of glory when we finally, finally arrive in our graduation year: you decide. Last year, at Patrick's, we had little "edible bubble" bottles, where you could eat the bubbles... or chug the bottleful of gross banana-resembling soapy crud.

Someone did.

We will not have those.

As to whether or not it will be a sleepover, the jury's still out. Parental feedback sounds like it's a go, but we might have to pull an after-prom and send the guys or girls to someone else's house for the night.

[[UPDATE: Dave sacrificed his warm family New Year's at the beach so that the guys can again sleep at his house. So it's girls here, guys there. He also offered to turn it into Brinker's B&B again and feed us in the morning--it's gotten good reviews before, so unless there are objections...]]

Yeah, I realize that the details aren't very detailed yet. I'm working on it. But if you have tentative approval (or denial) for all or part of the evening, tell me somehow... text, call, im, e-mail, post a reply, send me flowers or cookies or narcotics, I don't really care. In fact, if you just show up and I didn't know you were coming, I can handle that too. But this is a party you can be proud of attending, so posting a comment would make you look really cool. I'd know.

postscript: for Christmas, I got a huge chunk of bituminous and a personal letter from Santa, who's mad that Shakeer bore the brunt of my bad driving karma. Sorry, man. Drown your sorrows in Martinelli's with us on Friday.

post-postscript: if I have met you, you're invited.

Monday, December 27, 2004

I'm glad I'm not a Christmas tree

On the way home from Pioneer tonight, I was startled to see that they have already begun dismantling that really pretty tree they had set up in the square for the holidays. Two of those massive Genie all-terrain lifts were up in the air, and guys with chainsaws were pruning off all of the limbs. That was kind of depressing!

If I were a tree I'd want to be an ugly tree. That way people wouldn't cut me down and put me in a square and then hack off all my limbs, throw me away, and forget about me after some random pretty holiday was done. They'd just look at me, go "oh, what an ugly tree!" and then cut me down and turn me into a beautiful cabinet. Or possibly a lot of toothpicks.

Oooh pretty metaphor. Discuss!

Postscript: Oh wow hey I was pretty tired last night. Um. Toothpicks are cool? Yeah. I'm a gonna try to find some more stupid websites for you guys. Lah dee dah.

L.A.

LA does not have the best vibe for the christmas spirit. I was in shorts and a T-shirt on christmas. come on. it was fun though.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

New Years Resolutions

I am considering a pretty audacious New Years resolution this year. But just one. My hope is that it will affect a lot of other areas. I think I have figured out why different resolutions have failed in the past and how I can succeed this year. Its gonna take a lot of preparation and dedication but I think I can do it. Why am I writing if I'm not going to tell you what it is? Because of something I learned in AA. It's way easier to stay strong on something if you are surrounded by a bunch of other people doing the same thing and who want you to make it. So if there's anyone out there who understood anything they just read, commit to that resolution right now and say so in comments. If anybody else proves up for this, John can put it in memorable topics and we can use it to check progress and offer encouragement. You know you want a badass New Years Resolution, so Bang Away!

post script
OK, I wasn't in AA. But you got the point.

post post script
Is New Years anyone else's favorite holiday? I mean New Years Eve. A night for reflection on the past year and full of the promise of the next. And it gets me Chinese food, how could it be better? Oh yeah, a kiss at midnight. Someday. Maybe next year.

post post post script
Next Year by the Foo Fighters is a good song. Trust me.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Alaska

That's right. Alaska. That is where I will be spending the next eight days. That was my big Christmas present. A suprise trip to Alaska to go skiing. That means I'm gonna miss New Years and all the cool stuff going on around here. On a side note, I got the Seinfeld DVD's which are absolutely awesome. I don't get back till Monday so I don't know if I'll go to school or not. Anyway, I'll see all of ya when I get back.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas.....Eve

Hey all,

A big Merry Christmas to all of you. Life would blow without you.

Wow...that was irreverant. Seriously, you all rock my world day after day, and I don't know how I'd get by without you. Yep...it's Christmas...it's okay to be cheesy.

For those who are interested/have time, a bunch of us (well, okay, just me, Rachel, Doug, Spencer, and Beth Fagan as of now) are going to The Cathedral (which is somewhere downtown) for their Midnight Mass. If you would like to come along...hey, fantastic! Just get there early. And dress up. It's Christmas, why not.

If not, a big Merry Christmas to all and I look forward to seeing you guys in a few days.

Oh, and hey...be sure to post all the cool stuff you got. Because...behind all the trees and the decorations, the eggnog and the ham, the family gatherings and the church services...it is pretty cool to get a buncha new stuff.

"I wish you a hopeful christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear"
-Emerson, Lake, & Palmer ("I Believe in Father Christmas")

"And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young"
-John Lennon ("Happy Christmas")

Oh, and I don't mean to be...flippant, I suppose. If you don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays! Or at the very least, I hope you're having an awesome break. Despite college apps lingering over my head, I know I am.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Um...What the Fuck?

Doug gave me the heads up and I just read the email. DC made me rector for FME. If that wasn't a big enough mistake, Doug was not made a leader. What the fuck? I cannot think of a better leader than Doug. There was no doubt in my mind that he would be a leader. And, sorry Doug, but the worst part. Maura is vigil team. Instead of Rachel. Holy Fucking Shit. What the fuck are you smoking DC? I can't believe it.

post script
I'm not just swearing just so Jeff can't access the blog. This is genuine outrage.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Bang Away!

First of all, I'd like to give a Bang Away! to J.B. for being South Bend Bound and a Bang Away! for turning 18 (in the same weekend) but no Bang Away! for being too selfless to post about either. To those who have yet to be accepted to that special school (myself included), keep banging away on those apps and keep those chins up.

When I just wrote 'that special school', it occured to me how much applying to college is like asking a girl out (OK, no firsthand experience, but I've seen a lot of TV.)

SAT or ACT scores- Superficiality.
Recommendations- What the girl has heard about you. Reputation.
Classes- Are you smart, funny, and interesting or are you Schultz?
Grades- Social skills.
Activities- (Pretty much the same) Will she be able to wear your extra jersey to games (and will people actually know who that is)? Do you save stray kittens?
Essay- How you ask her out.

OK, that was lame, but you get the point. And the college accepts or rejects you based on its desirablity to other guys. The really hot school has lots of great guys asking her out, so she can get really choosy. State schools are whores. Anyway, if we had a quality control filter, this wouldn't pass, but I'm gonna post it because of the dearth (Bang Away! Sophomore vocab...wow I almost wrote Bang Away! Mrs. Harwood and that would've been so wrong) of recent posts.

post script
I think the last several days have confirmed my theory about our blog. We don't post when we have "free time" as Jeff and Cory mistakenly believe. We post when we don't have free time but are procrastinating. And then the rest of us, who are also procrastinating, see those posts and comment on them about how much we also are procrastinating. Its a beautiful thing.

post script
Bang Away! is the new catchphrase for words of encouragement, shouts of excitement, and fond, emphatic farewells. It is usually accompanied by a high five. Use it.

post post post script
I wish Cory was here. Or the yellow lady.

post post post post script
Bang Away Skylar!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Un long dimanche de fian├žailles (A Very Long Engagement)

For years now, I've said there are two types of films that do very little for me. One is a war film. The other is a foreign film. And so what did I decide to head out to see tonight? What movie have I been looking forward to immensely since seeing the trailer two and a half months ago? A foreign film that deals largely with war.

It attracted me for two reasons, both of which it delivered on. First, the imagery. It is simply an incredibly beautiful film to look at. I didn't think any film for awhile would top "The Passion of the Christ" in terms of cinematic beauty, but man...this did it. Every single frame was a work of art.

Second...this is really a qualification for making a good war movie...it uses war as a backdrop to tell a different story. In this case, the main story was this woman (Audrey Tautou) waiting for her fiance, the man she's loved all her life, to return. He might be dead, he might be alive...but she is determined to find she is alive, despite all evidence contradictory. And her actions should never be surprising...the audience should never wonder why she doesn't give up. They tell you right off the bat..."If Manech was dead, Mathilde would know."

But that isn't the only story. The unexpected aspect of this film is that it also tells numerous stories within the larger stories. They're not subplots exactly, because they still function within the larger story, and the way in which they are worked in is simply wonderful. And each actor brings with him or her EVERYTHING in that character. There's a rule that supporting actors are usually instructed to follow, which is to pretend the story is about them. They have to figure out the story from their perspective and use that as a guideline for their character's actions, moods, anything. This film should be shown as the pinacle of that.

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet took a lotta risks with this film. He was disqualified from festivals and awards, and received a large amount of criticism from fans, for using Warner Brothers (a.k.a. America) money to help finance the picture. But it simply wouldn't be possible any other way. The sheer scope of the story, the costume design, the war scenes, Paris...none of it would have been possible.

There is very little about this film that is bad. In fact, I can think of nothing. If anything, I'm not good enough for it. And that's pretty much because I can't speak a word of French. As gorgeous and mind-blowing as this film was, I felt I only caught like a third of it.

This is the first year ever in which I actually care about the foreign films. With "The House of Flying Daggers" having just been released this week, "The Motorcycle Diaries" increasingly being a film I gotta see, and "The Sea Inside" taking its good sweet time getting here, I'm actually looking forward to that category at the Oscars. Oh, and "Hero" was incredible, though technically that was a 2003 film (though it wasn't released in the U.S. 'til this last August).

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tedium IS the worst pain

Yep, that's a quote from Grendel, but it so applies here...oh God, I swear that was an unintentional pun, a pun that you will soon understand. You see, I have to do all of my teacher recommendations, counselor forms, etc. (a.k.a. everything that was actually due Tuesday) for 9 (count 'em nine) colleges TONIGHT. I am getting really, really good at writing my name, and Jesuit's code (380897! in case it wasn't already burned into your brains). The one positive side of this is that I got to miss practice. Thinking about it, however, I would have rather gone to practice then fill all of these out, and that's saying something. Send me good vibrations. Or text messages...those vibrate, too. I am in for a long night, and I get to dress up tomorrow morning...SUPER. *ktbz

You Know You're from Portland, OR When...

You Know You're From Portland, OR When...
Two-thirds of the people you know are from California, yet there is no sun.
You can list five reasons why Starbucks is evil.
You blame everything that's not right on ex-Californians.
You remember the date, severity, time of day, where you were, and how long you were out of power for every winter weather event for the last five years.
You know what and when the Columbus Day storm was. Bonus for having been there.
You go to a coffee bar and see two guys get into a fight over who makes the best India Pale Ale.
You own more than 10 articles of clothing that have microbreweries/brewpubs printed on them. Bonus for embroidered stuff.
You can go a whole week without seeing the sun or a person of color.
You have a bookstore, coffee bar, and brewpub all within walking distance of your house.
You think downtown is scary 'cause you were panhandled there ... once.
When you drive out of town, every other guy in a pickup looks like the governor.
When you drive out of town, even the Hondas have gun racks.
When the weather gets above 50 degrees you put on your shorts, but you still wear hiking boots and your parka.
When the weather gets above 60 you replace your hiking boots with sandals.
You think people who use umbrellas are wimps.
You can recount more than five anecdotes about why the East Side is a crime-infested jungle
... OR ...
You can list more than five reasons why the West Side is a boring, snobby, white-bread suburb.
You know what it is in between the East Side and the West Side, and how to pronounce it.
You are sitting at a red light surrounded by Subaru Legacy Outbacks.
A tree or mudslide has ever damaged your house or car.
You live equidistant to a symphony hall, a winery, and a volcano.
You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Portland, OR.

That was freelance blogger Chris Pozzi reporting.

The Great Can-Tower, 2004

I just wanted to post a breif teaser about this awesome tower.

Yesterday (wednesday), my first period physics class took over food to the student center early and then kidna hung out. Out of boredom and a small spark of inspiration, I began separating out the little cambell's tomatoe soups cans and stacking them. Then the class began helping. When I went to the driver's meeting, I asked Gus to protect it for me but honestally thought it would be dead by my return. Half an hour later, II was amazed to see it grown incredibly. Structrual flaws, however, would keep it from growing me.

So we moved it to the floor and made it bigger. Simple logic, right?

Nolan provided structrual design, Gus worked as chief cardboard operater and later structural engineer, Shakeer was our major scouting and counstruction firm, and Spencer proved he was the ballsy of us by climbing on top of the 10 foot ladder karolyn and I "aquired".

Oh, did I mention we touched the ceiling? An all time jhs canned food drive record, I might add.

Many thanks to all involved. I'll post the pictures here once I get them from our offical photographers.

-JB

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

At least I know that there is a God...

As Ben pointed out to me earlier today, I need to by a birthday present, on top of the two Christmas presents that I am entitled to. So, since I have exactly $12 to my name, and kinda need my car fixed, I decided just to jack a "Kelsey St." sign or something. But I know not if such street exists, or within prowling range of my house (probably not more than a third of a mile), so I decide to check my handy Thomas Guide. I figured that it was still in my car, as it is the map's home, so I reach into my trunk, and start feeling around (It was dark, and the batteries died out, so there wasn't a trunk light. The first thing I pulled out was a cd covered in some werid goo. This is my trunk, remember (For those of you who don't know, my trunk is like... the superlatative of messy, I am too tired to think of a good simile). But right underneath that was a DVD that I had lost, and a check! It must have been one of my last paychecks from Albertsons! So now I'm $33 richer, and have the fiscial capacity to buy Christmas presents. Wow, my life sucks, but now at least I know that there is a God. And his idea of a good time is toying with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yep

www.Wikipedia.com rules.

We Are Living in the Bizarro World

Bush just gave the Medal of Freedom, our highest civilian honor, to Paul Bremer, Tommy Franks, and George Tenet for their contributions to the formation and execution of the plan for the war in Iraq. In related news, Nelly has been appointed Poet Laureate and Cory Donahue has been named the chairman of the Democratic Party.

Monday, December 13, 2004

WOW

New and Improved post.

Sorry for not posting anything in a long time, but i have been doing so much stuff.
Encounter
Homework
Encounter
Food Drive
Encounter
2 Papers due this week. Wait i have to do half a paper for stats.

Yep, the Encounter went very well and was lots of fun. The small group leaders were the best, and they made it all happen. If someone says that i was a great rector, well thats their opionion, but i didnt do all that much. Jessica did alot more of the dirty work than i did.
I think i cried hmmmmmm... not on thursday, about 2 times friday, about 2 on saturday, and i teared up on sunday when i returned. But the time when i cried most was when i was talking to my mother at home when we were alone. We talked about the best recipes for cookies, and which were the best cookies i ate. After that i gave her a hug and thanked her for raising me to be kind and loving. She started to to cry and thanked me for being her son. I started to ball right along with her. It was the best connversation i have had with my mom ever.

P.S. I am a huge mama's boy and it will be very hard to leave next year. For the both of us.
P.P.S. Although she did not go right out and say it she confirmed my idea that i am her favorite child. By far.

You Wouldn't Know it by Looking at Me, But I'm Really Good at Getting Rejected

Actually you probably would.

The title paraphrases Seinfeld's famous pickup line (his ended with really fast) to fit today's event. Over my time at Jesuit, whether it was failing to make the cut for the soccer team (twice), NHS (only once), Gormans tests (too many to count), and a couple other things, I have developed a healthy acceptance of my inadequacy. That's cool, its a life skill I'm gonna need. Today was my finest example of this. Nary a sniffle when I ripped open my letter (when I saw the envelope I knew I wasn't in) and found out that my early app to Stanford didn't turn out so hot. They accepted about 20% (900) and I was not in their number. Hopefully Sean, Danielle, Ken, and Gus were more fortunate. But before anyone posts a nice, encouraging comment, just know that Stanford was in no way my dream school (I don't have one.) As most of you know, I don't really know why I applied early there. I could have applied to several other schools early instead of this single-choice shit. But it made it easy, so I went with it. Even if I got in today, that would by no means mean that I was planning on going there. It almost would have become a fallback option. This is not to try to smear Stanford, which is one of the best schools in the country. I would have loved to get in. But I'm not really upset. Cross your fingers for Ken amd the rest of them.

post script
Today at work I built an entire K'nex racecar. It was the first K'nex model I have ever built, so I was pretty proud of myself. The day wasn't a total loss.

AFI's Top 10 of 2004

Hey all,

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. I'll have comments up in a week or so, since The Aviator was nominated big time and it hasn't been released yet so I haven't actually seen it. Yeah. So, find 'em online...good stuff overall.

In the meantime, here's the AFI's top 10 list of 2004....

THE AVIATOR
COLLATERAL
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
THE INCREDIBLES
KINSEY
MARIA FULL OF GRACE
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
SIDEWAYS
SPIDER-MAN 2

Okay, good list...HUGE props for having Collateral, The Incredibles, and (the one I'm happiest for) Spider-Man 2. But...where does Friday Night Lights get off? I didn't actually see it, but John tells me that if he didn't see it with the football guys, it wouldn't have been so good. And every review said it was just decent. Argh. But, hey, they got Spidey, so I'm happy!

Oh, and SOMETIME today the Batman Begins trailer will be online, and it kicks all kinds of ass (which I determined from this REALLY crappy lo-res version I found)...keep checking...

www.batmanbegins.com

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Pittsburgh... and the GHHQC.

I remember back during sophomore year when everyone would ask me why, exactly, I... disliked... Pittsburgh so much. You want to know why? Check out the title link. Yeah. That's why. Well, that and I missed homecoming and two other weekends when important stuff (to a sophomore) happened.

And even if that article sounds funny, YOU CAN TELL. You're walking around downtown, this article would not surprise you, unless your nose was clogged up or you were drunk (the only possible solution to Pittsburgh). You'd be glad the cops were getting to work on the problem but afraid to get your hopes up.

If you're like me, and count mass-produced coffee shops as a sign of civilization, i.e. people who don't drink excessive amounts of alcohol just to leave the byproducts on the street later, you'll notice that Portland has FOUR STARBUCKS for every ONE in Pittsburgh (compare the cities at www.bestplaces.net).

Anyway, just wanted to explain that.

***

Also, my parents and I have been talking about why school is so terrible this year. They think that it'll be more interesting if I try harder to make classes interesting--I'll get out of it what I put in. I disagree, but I'll use their opinion to introduce something totally unrelated to Pissburgh (wow, I totally misspelled that accidentally, then decided to leave it that way):

The GREAT HAHN HGE Q-DUB CONTEST.

Goal: Post the least reverent answer to a Question of the Week and get away with it.

Rules: The post is only eligible for victory if it (a) is posted visibly in the Public Folders for Hahn, and (b) scores five out of five points. If you're not in Hahn's class, collaborate with someone who is. Or post anyway and ask him if he'd give you five points, I guess.

No, I guess I don't know how you could post something invisibly in the Public Folders.

If anyone's up for it, we can post opening bids. What do you say?

OCEAN'S 12

There are two kinds of sequels. One is the traditional kind, which is "Hey, this film made a buncha money! Let's make another!" The other is the kind that really furthers the story, and you really feel like the first was just an introduction to a much larger story (Spider-Man 2 is a prime example).

"Ocean's 12," unfortunately, is the first kind. I LOVED the original "Ocean's 11," and have been anxiously awaiting its sequel. And "12" has its moments. Don't get me wrong, there are some times when it is amazingly fun and entertaining. But as it got closer and closer to the end, I could tell that the entire time, writer/director Steven Soderbergh was sitting around saying "we gotta make this not like the first" in regards to the sort of twist ending.

In "12," the danger is higher but it doesn't feel that way. The gang never really feels trapped like in the original. And, by the time it gets to what the end up doing with Tess (Julia Roberts), I wanted to groan. They could've come up with SOMETHING better than that (although it allowed for a damn good cameo).

The actors are still on their A-game, but it doesn't feel like they have as much to do this time. Danny Ocean (George Clooney), for example, really isn't the main character of this. I don't know who is, but it ain't him. And none of them really come off as cool as they did in the first. In the first, these guys were the coolest buncha folks around. This time...not so much.

So I dunno...my entire perception of the film is "the first, but subdued." It's like they eliminated the entire point of the sequel idea, which is to take the first, and make it BIGGER. This was just smaller, and can join "Shrek 2" on the list of the year's more disappointing films.

KINSEY

Okay, first, I'M SORRY to everyone who didn't get invited that apparently wanted to go. I swear I didn't even know.

On with the review...

"In an uninhibited society, a twelve-year-old would know most of the biology which I will now have to give you in formal lecture."
-Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey (Liam Neeson)

Writer/Director Bill Condon began working on this film in 1999, finished had at least one draft done by 2000, yet the film does not see release until now. And I'm kinda glad it did. It was released mere weeks after an election in which 22% of voters claimed "moral values" to be their main voting platform, and 11 states said gays shouldn't marry. What better time for a film about the guy who first figured out masturbation and homosexuality do not lead to insanity, that women have orgasms too, and dispelled many other myths that young people took for fact up until the late 1940s.

But as a film, what it does best is show that Alfred Kinsey was not perfect, a trap that most biopics fall into. It shows, rather, that for all his genius, he was a pretty screwed-up dude. He studied sex for years, yet did not take into consideration the emotions that come into play, and that was his major fault. It was all for the science. And Liam Neeson does a very, very good job of portraying the many facets of Kinsey...the nerd, the scientist, the revolutionary, the madman (well...that probably isn't the right word, but you get the picture).

Another important aspect to the film is that it really lives up to its tagline: "Let's Talk About Sex." And for for about three quarters of its running time, the film talks about sex. ALL kinds of sex, and discusses it openly. And I love that aspect of the film. But there is some pretty shocking material in there, so if you're the kind of person who feels uncomfortable around the discussion of sex, this is not a film for you.

But it really is a well done film. Besides Liam Neeson, the supporting cast is great. But chief among them is Peter Sarsgaard, one of the best new actors around. Sarsgaard has a very difficult character to work with, and he keeps him subdued when need be, and really draws out the emotion in a very key scene.

I do recommend this movie, very highly in fact. But that mainly comes out of the facts it presents, the points it makes, and the questions it raises. If you like film that challenges, this is one of those films.

It should be noted that this film is getting a considerable amount of backlash from the conservative community. In response to that, I HIGHLY recommend this article:

http://chud.com/news/438

Sex "Shocker" Movies...

I realized the other night that four of the last big movies out at the moment all employ explicit sex scenes to either attract or shock the audience in someway. Think back to I Heart Huckabees, if you will, and recall the mud fetish scene. At the time, I remember thinking Huckabees took some risks by including such a scene. After all, while it did aid the story and character developement and conveyed a message (my key for determining if a scene should or should not be in a "good literary" movie...the other sort being the commerical thriller like Jay and Silent Bob), it was not an essential scene and might well have (ok, in a few cases I can think of, did) alienate some viewers from truely enjoying the film.
However, both Closer and Kinsey push the line of what audiences will and will not sit for even further. Now with Kinsey, you know to expect this. Anyone walking into an R rated biography on the famed sex researcher should expect some sex. And some rather explicit descriptions thereof. And while some bits may have been gratutious, I personally felt the film did its best to accurately portray the man and didn't engage in needless sexual voyages to attempt to attract people. Kinsey serves as my base example here - a movie with a real need to use sex to push its message. The question I am forced to ask, though, is why is there such a market for this movie? Kinsey hits a niche audience, I assume, as well as appealing to a wider variety of viewer (such as myself). But is it the sex that sells this movie?
Closer would seem to be an arguement that it does. I followed my traditional approach to new movies in that I watched the trailer, asked scotty if I'd like it, then went to see it - without ever reading a review, synopsis, or reasoning behind the R rating. Now, perhaps I should have caught on from scotty's mention that a nude scene of Natalie Portman had been cut from the film that this was not your typical Julia Roberts romantic comedy studying relationships. In many ways, it was...only it focused on how sex changes relationships. Again. one could argue the sex was not gratutious and it aided in the film's purpose. And as I pointed out to a friend after the movie, no one ever actually had sex on screen. The subject of the film was definately sex's impact on relationships, though, and it was heavily discussed.
Another current film, Sideways, also apparently has some explicit sex scenes. Now, I'm going mostly off information from my parents (as I haven't seen the film) but they said it was gratutious and unnessesary. I won't pass judgement until it comes to valley or video, but from their review, it seems to have just thrown the scenes in to attempt to shock, and perhaps attract, the audience.
Perhaps english class has totally destroyed my mind, but I see a pattern in these films. Well, more of a spectrum, I suppose. Filmmakers have decided there is a market for movies containing sex, or at least a tolerance for them. I'm interested in hearing your opinions on the subject.

(OK, that, and I need to get off the computer now...I'll edit this with more later, when I have time.)

Friday, December 10, 2004

In preperation....

In preperation for the coming blog war, I have created SWITZERLAND. It's here.

Before everyone goes "OH SHIT ANOTHER BLOG" please be warned that this is just a joke. I will not post there again. I also disallowed comments. SO HAH. Yeah. JOKE. JOKE BLOG. SUCKING UP BANDWITH.

Hey, I'm in history and I'm very bored. Go figure.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bowl Bonanza 2004

It seems that all I post about now a days is football. Anyway, Ben asked me to give my predictions for the 28 bowl games which will be played this year. So, here we go...

New Orleans Bowl-Southern Miss vs. North Texas--Believe it or not, I actually no something about these teams. North Texas has one of the best running backs in the country and a great rushing attack. I saw Southern Miss play Cal and they didn't look too bad. They have a solid defense and their offense can move the ball. Pick: Souther Miss

Champs Sports Bowl-Georgia Tech vs. Syracuse--Syracuse finished tied for first in the weak Big East so we can't take them too seriously. They have a good rushing game but their true freshman quarterback and defense are suspect. Georgia Tech is one of the biggest suprises of the year. They have one of the best recievers in the country and they played in the ACC, so they played higher caliber teams. Pick: Georgia Tech

GMAC Bowl-Bowling Green vs. Memphis--This is going to be an offensive extravaganza. Memphis one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the country and Bowling Green has an emerging star at quarterback. This one could come down to who has the ball last. Pick: Memphis

Fort Worth Bowl-Marshall vs. Cincinnati--I don't know much about either of these teams. They both probably have good offenses and weak defenses. Pick: Marshall

Las Vegas Bowl-Wyoming vs. UCLA--UCLA has a good running back and a pretty decent defense. The only question is, can their quarterback get it done through the air? If so then this game won't even be close. That said, UCLA should not overlook Wyoming. This is a decent team who gave Utah their only real challenge. Pick: UCLA

Hawaii Bowl-Hawaii vs. UAB--This one will also probably be high scoring. Hawaii, with quarterback Timmy Chang, should gain a lot of yards and put up a lot of points. Plus, they have the advantage of playing at home. UAB has a good rushing game but their defense isn't that great. Pick: Hawaii

Motor City Bowl-Toledo vs. Connecticut--This one won't be as close as some people think. Connecticut is a major suprise and they have had good success this season. But, they have been playing in the Big East. Toledo won the MAC and this is basically a home game for them. Their spread offense will be too much for UCONN to handle. Pick: Toledo

MPC Computers Bowl-Fresno St. vs. Virginia--Virginia was one of the biggest disappointments of the year. The have the best linebacker corps in the country and play solid defense. Alvin Pearman is an emerging star at running back reminds me a lot of Reggie Bush. Fresno St. hasn't beaten anyone tough and their defense is atrocious. Pick: Virginia.

Insight Bowl-Oregon St. vs. Notre Dame--N.D.'s biggest mistake was firing Willingham and now they have no head coach. The players will not be focused but it doesn't really matter because they are not that good of a team anyway (Sorry, John). Jesuit grad, Mike Hass, will carve up the Irish secondary and if N.D. gets more than ten points, I'll be suprised. Pick: OSU

Independence Bowl-Miami(OH) vs. Iowa St.--Yeah, this is gonna be a snooze fest. Iowa St. had a chance to win the Big XII North, but that's not saying much. Miami(OH) has a good offense (like every team from the MAC) but have absolutely no defense (like every team from the MAC). Pick: Miami(OH)

Houston Bowl-Colorado vs. UTEP--Colorado is a bad team. They got schelacked by Oklahoma in the Big XII championship. Their ground game is solid with absolutely monsters on the offensive line. UTEP is a big suprise and Mike Price has done an excellent job. I sense an upset. Pick: UTEP

Alamo Bowl-Ohio St. vs. Oklahoma St.--Ohio St. has one of the most dangerous kick returners in the country in Ted Ginn Jr. Their defense is very solid. Oklahoma St. answers with running back Vernon Morency and the Woods tandem at receiver and quarterback. This one will be a defensive struggle that goes down to the wire. Pick: Ohio St.

Continental Tire Bowl-North Carolina vs. Boston College--N.C. upset Miami but that's about all they have done all year. Their quarterback is good and underrated by many. Boston College had a shot at the Fiesta Bowl but an absolute whipping by Syracuse in their final game ended that. Look for them to bounce back and take it to the Tar Heels. Pick: Boston College

Emerald Bowl-New Mexico vs. Navy--I know nothing about New Mexico. Nothing. Navy has the triple option offense and a very good fullback. Their defense is good enough but not overpowering. Pick: Navy

Holiday Bowl-California vs. Texas Tech--Cal got the shaft. Big time. Even if they are not in the BCS, at least give them a decent opponent. The Red Raiders can put up a lot of offense but Aaron Rodgers and JJ Arrington will have their way against Tech's porous defense. And Cal's defense is one of the most underrated in the country. Pick: Cal

Silicon Valley Bowl-No. Illinois vs. Troy--Seriously, who cares. I didn't even know that there was a school called Troy until I saw this. I saw No. Illinois once on Sports Center but I don't remember why. This is a total guess. Pick: No. Illinois

Music City Bowl-Alabama vs. Minnesota--Minnesota had a disappointing year. However, they do have a running back tandem that rivals that of Auburn. Their defense is decent. Alabama has one of the top ranked rushing defenses in the country so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Pick: Minnesota

Sun Bowl-Purdue vs. Arizona St.--Purdue has fallen a long way. Once a top 5 team they not are relegated to the Sun Bowl. Many people say that they were overrated but I disagree. Their losses have all been by 3 to 7 points and they have lost to decent teams. Arizona St. without Andrew Walter doesn't have a chance. Pick: Purdue

Liberty Bowl-Louisville vs. Boise St.--This game features the top two ranked offenses in the nation so look for lots of points to be scored. Boise St. went undefeated and Louisville's lone loss was a close one against Miami(FL). Louisville does have a decent defense. This one might also come down to who has the ball last. Pick: Louisville

Peach Bowl-Florida vs. Miami(FL)--If you don't live in the state of Florida you don't really care about this one. Both these teams are overrated. Miami(FL) has dominated the series recently. However, they didn't look so great against Va Tech. Florida is going to have a new coach for the first time in this game. Pick: Florida

Cotton Bowl-Tennessee vs. Texas A&M--If one of Tennessee's vaunted freshman quarterbacks return from injury in time then this won't be that close. Riggins has emerged as true talent at running back. A&M has a high powered offense but the defense is suspect. Pick: Tennessee

Outback Bowl-Wisconsin vs. Georgia--Georgia was a national championship contender at the beginning of the season. However, their offense has trouble moving the ball and Fred Gibson is one of the biggest disappointments at wide receiver. Wisconsin was on it's way to the Rose Bowl before an absolute drubbing by Michigan St. They have a dominating defense but a weak offense. Pick: Wisconsin

Gator Bowl-W. Virginia vs. Florida St.--W. Virginia is the biggest disappointment this year. They were expected to win the weak Big East easily but failed to do so. Florida St. has trouble doing anything on offense but their defense is one of the best in the country. Pick: Florida St.

Capital One Bowl-LSU vs. Iowa--LSU has a strong defense and their offense has gotten better each week. Iowa started off slow but has really played well as the season has gone on. This is gonna be a close one. Pick: Iowa

Rose Bowl-Texas vs. Michigan--Michigan has a great freshman running back and receiver Braylon Edwards is capable of completely taking over ball games. They also have the best secondary in the nation. Texas has a good running back and an amazing linebacker but, too be honest, both of these teams are way overrated. Pick: Michigan

Fiesta Bowl-Utah vs. Pittsburgh--Pittsburgh sucks. They looked good against S. Florida, but come on. S. Florida? Utah has a high powered offense and a good enough defense. Pick: Utah

Sugar Bowl-Auburn vs. Virginia Tech--Virginia Tech is a good team. They have a great defense and Brian Randall wills his team to wins. Auburn has two great running backs and their quarterback, Jason Campbell, has been one of the most suprising stories in college football. This one will be closer than most people think. Pick: Virginia Tech

Orange Bowl-USC vs. Oklahoma--The national championship. I'm gonna go into more detail on this one since it's the one that counts.
Offense: Freshman sensation Adrian Peterson should have a hundred yard game. Jason White will find wide receiver Clayton a few times but I think that he is going to have some trouble with the USC defense. USC has the most dangerous player in the country in Reggie Bush. Every time he touches the ball he has the opportunity to score. Matt Leinart will carve up the Oklahoma secondary.

Defense: People can run against USC. Cal and N.D. both had success on the ground. However, Pete Carroll can and will blitz from just about everywhere so they get plenty of pressure on the quarterback. Oklahoma also has a strong defense and their secondary has been bolstered by the return of their injured cornerback (his name eludes me). Their run defense is suspect as well and their tackling is only decent.

Look for USC to jump ahead early and make Oklahoma throw the ball to beat them. If this happens the Trojan defense should get to Jason White and make things difficult for him.
Pick: USC

I fear I am opening a can of worms...

At Mass on Wednesday, I sat next to Ben. Overcome with what must have been the Holy Spirit (“Speak the truth!”), I randomly blurted out this confession to Ben: “I like your blog better than the pink one.”

So today, Ben commissioned me to write an essay on why Outsiders is better than Hibiscus. I was somewhat hesitant at first, however, there comes a time in every woman’s life when she cannot sit on the fence much longer because it is too pokey on tip and so must take sides.

Outsiders has a more appealing layout. I’m sorry, but I just cannot take so much pink. If I, in the privacy of my own home, and somewhat turned off by the overwhelming femininity of the blog, then imagine a guy’s reaction…I doubt that they would enjoy being seen reading such a, well, pink blog, and this definitely reduces readership potential. Outsiders appeals to both girls and guys, with a sleek, bold layout that is not specifically masculine or feminine.

Outsiders is a better source for information. Hibiscus is interesting, but just so random. It lacks direction, which is not as important if it is a blog for one person, but when it is a community blog for the benefit of a group of people, I am not as inclined to read a blog that does not seem to have any point. From Outsiders, I can find opinions on current events, movie and dance reviews, discussions about college, athletics, and high school. I will concede, here, that there are also some very, very random posts, but not the majority.

Perhaps there can be a compromise here, as I do not want this to be seen as a betrayal of my gender. If anyone hasn’t noticed yet, gender wars are never a good plan…guys, a woman brought you into this world and a woman can take you out…girls, well, we need them too. Pink Hibiscus is a much better source for pictures, and so should stay. If the girls feel they need somewhere to post, Ben has been willing in the past to make a name for girls, or you can use Random Amigos. Pink Hibiscus is just getting going as a community blog, and deserves a chance to decide its direction and work out the kinks before we get into a blog war. Perhaps the two blogs can function in harmony…equal, but different.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Hey all,

Will people read this? Time will tell. Or not.

Anyway.

Y'know what I've been doing this week? Even when I'm doing my homework, chatting online, or staying home sick? Waiting on the edge of my seat for the "Batman Begins" trailer. Half the reason I absolutely MUST see "Ocean's 12" tomorrow night is because the trailer is attached the that film, and I gotta see that baby in theaters.

At any rate...

It's not online yet, but the first trailer for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is. Which, besides "Batman" and "Sin City" (which will kick more ass than you can count), is the film I am looking forward to most next year. See...when I was but a wee lad, forming what would become my geekish self, I LIVED off Roald Dahl books. That was my LIFE. Sad? Yes. But those books really expanded my imagination.

And my favorite of those? Matilda. But that movie blew. My second favorite? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was made into a fine, but ultimately kiddy, film. But then, more recently, it was announced that Tim Burton would be creating a NEW adaptation of the classic novel. With a screenplay by John August (who did a remarkable job on "Big Fish," which was also directed by Burton). And with Johnny Depp as Wonka himself.

GOLD.

See, to try to recreate Roald Dahl, it takes a couple of things. First, it takes a boundless imagination. I mean, you can't let ANYTHING hold you back. Film, unfortunately, can do this, but you gotta keep it so wacky and weird that people think they can believe anything. Second, though, it takes a certain amount of darkness. Ultimately, in the novel, five children go in, and four of them die. Yes...four children DIE. And you have to be able to create a world where a guy who runs a chocolate factory is willing to get five random kids in there, only to kill off four of them and give the factory to whoever's left. What kinda psycho would do that?

Watch the trailer. You'll see.

http://www.davestrailerpage.co.uk

Oh, and for those who saw "Finding Neverland," the same kid who played Peter will play Charlie Bucket. That's just cool.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Tragedy of Epic Proportions

Jeff cannot read this blog at his house.

At first he told me he wasn't a fan of this blog because of its hostile attitude toward posts and the ideas they present (his in particular) and he championed the girls for their loving acceptance of anyone and their thoughts. After further discussion, (which, as you know, quickly erodes any and all of Jeff's arguments) it came to light that he could not read this blog because the censor on his computer blocked it due to the occassional expletives. First off, I would like to commend the parents Nitschke for being intelligent enough to filter their son's activites. Second, I would like to recommend that the girls up their dosage of swear words.

post script
I know its tempting, but lets refrain from any further mocking of Jeff, even though he did disrespect the Gravy and couldn't read the insults anyways.

post post script
None of the former Cory, Jeff, Alex team have yet notified me of their displeasure at being replaced by Ken. The blows just keep coming.

Reasons that I am a Geek

Or probably more specificly, a nerd. So now that football has ended, I have turned my focus to the finer things in life. No, not women, no woman would want me. But chess. Yep, I am such a loser. Sitting in Lincoln's cafeteria, playing against a girl who is absolutely horrible at chess. (Women shouldn't be allowed to play chess, they have not the intellectual capacity to partake in such an endevour.) So, anyway, chess is cool, play it. Especially John, because we need him. So yeah, I promised Ben I'd post, but I'm not feeling particuarly creative today, so I'll just resort to self-pity and sexism. I know that as soon as I post this, I'll think of something cute and witty to say, but no, I'm tired.

Writings from my english notebook...

Ben and Doug read a few of these and ordered me to post some of them up here. Sadly, they do not begin to compare to the famed writings of Ken or Shakeer, but hopefully they will entertain you to some degree.

A Blackbird
Rain falls in the crowded hall
thrown in by gusty winds of fall
children rush to get to class
never bothering to look or ask
about the blackbird purched just outside the door
staring down at the crowded floor
motionless, his obsidian eyes meet mine
I spend a moment lost in time
contemplating the creature before me
and I wonder what its like to be free...

A Dictionary Entry:
VAG - acronym
Voracious Armoured Gorillia
Originally coined in responce to the mass amries of hungry chain-mall covered primates that set upon cropes like a mass of giant furry wingless cicades, VAG is used as either a noun ("I got bit by a VAG out in the fields today" or "VAGs stole my babies!") or verb ("Dude, my food's all gone...it must have been VAGged!" in the non-literal sense of "You got VAGged!" or "I'm going to VAG you up, sucka!" or even "VAG me harder, big boy!" ). Occasionally, it is put into an adjective form ("That was VAGging!" or "Did you see the VAGging note left on the car the other day? They had to lockdown the school!"). VAG bears no realtion to words such as VAGrant or VAGabond, though many less-talented dictionary writers frequently mistake the unique roots of the different words.

I'm sure there's more...I just am too lazy to type anything more out right now.

-JB

EDIT: Added by request, another poem:

A Ribbion (Working Title)

I sit upon the grassy knoll,
where soon church bells will proudly toll.
As I tie the ribbon in a foolish way,
against my leg she does lay,
drinking in the fragil nature of this travesty
that brought my lovely bride to me.
For had I not awaken late that morn,
this poor lass would still sit alone, forlorn.
Atop this hill, we rest
as above the horizon, the sun does crest
where we still softely laugh and wish
that the sky was a sea, and the clouds but fish.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wow how desperate are we?

No ones posted in a really long time...so I will!!!

So today Magda, Nancy and I spent nine out of my ten dollars on coffee, thinking we wouldn't need it for anything else. Silly us because not twenty minutes later we decided to rent a movie. Now Magda and I figured a movie couldn't cost what more than three dollars, so we scrounge up every penny in my car and after about another twenty minutes realize we have about three fifty. Finally we enter the video store and run around until we find the movie we are looking for...and damn it's $3.79...so now Magda and I proceed to go around the store to scrounge up enough change, now keep in mind we a lready have like 2.50 in change and a third of that is pennies...anyway so we can't find anymore and we are about twenty cents short. Now Magda and I using our great logic figure that the clerk will be like "oh cute little girls don't have enough money so i'll give 'em a break after all it's only twenty cents." So we walk up to the counter movie and money in hand. I hand the movie over and kindly ask "how much does it cost," knowing full well it costs 3.79. The clerk says that and I reply "oh darn we're twenty cents short I guess we'll have to come back." we both turn to leave saddened that the clerk didn't offer to pay when we hear "wait, don't go home" and the man next in line pulls out a dollar so we can by our movie with pennies to spare....and yes we did all of this whil we were both wearing Jesuit sweatshirts.

Moral: Yes Magda and Cynda ARE that desperate; yes random men can be very charitable; no movie clerks are not as cheritable; yes Pat pizza is not the only thing I can get for free, but most importantly yes Magda and I are willing to spend just under an hour gathering change searching for a movie and planning a way to get money from complete strangers just so we can watch How To Deal, or any other chick flick/teeny bopper movie...because contrary to popular belief they ARE good for you!!

Coffee - $9
Movie rental - $3.79 (well technically $2.79)
Goofing around with your best friend and making a fool of yourself - priceless

I love you Magda!!!

~Cynda

Sunday, December 05, 2004

FUCKING BIO TEST

waterwavemm: fucking shit of a mother fucking teacher who doesnt teach us anything worth learning. even if he doesnt want to teach us anything valuable, he could at LEAST teach us what is going to be on the fucking test so we could fool our fucking parents. for the love of christ!

I couldn't have said it better myself. This bio test is going to suck hard. Anyone want to outline what exactly we're supposed to be studying? Because I'd really like to know.

~Nancy

Fun doohickey to play with!

So are you bored with your current library of music? Well, then, fret not because I have found a fun toy to play with that will allow you to (possibly) find bands that may interest you! Hooray!

Music Map is this site that generates a chart based on the group you input of bands that are similar in style to that band / people who enjoy your selected band enjoy them. It's pretty cool to play with, but sometimes it makes weird connections-- one time it told me that Eazy E was close to the Counting Crows. Go figure. But check it out. Yeah.

Because you asked.

So Ben's requested the full-text Food Drive speech for the blog, and this is it. It contains never-before-read sections (all of sophomore year), which were cut by Mr. Moore because "uh, it's really, uh, long." Plus it's about cross-dressing.

Keep in mind I wrote it from 10:30ish until late the night before... it's unproofed and didn't live up to its potential. But I read it anyway, and if you have a lot of extra time on your hands, so will you.

******************************

Good morning, Jesuit. Less than twelve hours ago, I was relaxing in my parents’ Jacuzzi with a cup of steaming mint tea and fourteen of my favorite aromatherapy candles when my little sister knocked on the door. “Ken?” she asked. “There’s someone on the phone for you.” Lo and behold, it was Gus Jewell, saying “I have a favor to ask of you, Ken.” Turns out when a show has a “surprise guest,” sometimes it’s a surprise for the guest, too. So here I am, a little tired, sporting an oddly-shaped burn from the candle I knocked into the tub and smelling like an Altoid from the tea that fell with it, but ready to prove to you that canvassing for the Food Drive can get you a lot more than a T-shirt. It’s all about the memories. So I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

My food drive tradition began when I was a freshman. My older sister, Kelly, was a junior at the time, and she decided that if she took me canvassing, we would bond. Unsure about the idea, I asked her what it was like. “So I just walk around to people’s houses and beg for food? I just say, ‘We’re from Jesuit and we want your canned goods’?” She said, “No, Ken, you smile really wide, hold out your bag, and say ‘Trick or Treat.’” I laughed, because I thought she was being sarcastic. Evidently we had not bonded enough for me to tell that she was, in fact, completely serious. She continued. “And then I say ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. My brother, he’s, well—he’s not well. I’m trying to collect food for the Jesuit Food Drive, and he wanted so badly to help, but he just has so much trouble with his words.’ And then they feel sorry for us and they give us food.” I stared openmouthed at the girl who at the end of the year would receive the Jesuit Christian Service award, and told her it would be a cold day in Hawaii before I would do that, but she was too quick for me. “I’ll tell Mom about the time you tried to crucify the next-door neighbors’ poodle.” We both knew that that was really just a practical joke that got a little out of hand, but my parents trusted Kelly more than me, and I knew I had no choice. “Canvassing it is,” I said cheerfully.

By the end of the week we had drummed up eleven bags of food, along with two bags of candy from an old man who had really thought it was Halloween. I quickly got into the spirit of things, and brought the total up to fourteen just by revisiting houses I had already been to. They’d open the door, smile sympathetically, hand me a can of 100% Pure Pumpkin or vintage 1967 Kroffler’s Cranberry Sauce, pat me on the back, and send me on my way. Surveying our results, Kelly and I felt drunk with power, but we eventually realized things were getting out of hand when we tried to use our trick to wrangle a couple free Peanut-Butter Parfaits out of the local Dairy Queen, and the girl behind the counter threatened to call the police. Sitting back on the couch at home and popping open one of the boxes of Golden Grahams we’d gotten from the Kramers, Kelly declared that we were finished. It was a gray moral area anyway, she decided, and really I had been very deceptive. I ended up getting off easy: Kelly let me get away with a sentence of going to confession and refusing a Food Drive T-shirt. She assigned herself the much heavier penance of eating the more appealing cans and boxes of ill-gotten nonperishables—she called it “calories for clemency.”

I learned a lot of lessons freshman year, but the only ones I really remember are from the food drive. First, it’s a bad idea to deceive the generous folks who try to help you. Although collecting the cans and dumping them in the back of our van felt really good at first, karma soon struck. When I set down the fourth box of food, it landed on the power cord to our outdated aquarium filter, and since we had been piling the food all around the aquarium, we didn’t even notice something was awry until a week later when we stuffed the food in the car to take to school. By then it was too late. Frankie, Zipper, Santa, and Fishie had all perished—clearly, a message from God. I did not feel any better when Kelly pointed out that the box in question contained a huge carton of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, and as I sent each friend on his first and last ride down the Porcelain Water Slide with a funeral flush, I pledged again and again that I would never more besmirch Jesuit’s honor with dishonest methods of food collection. The second lesson was much simpler. The more effort you put into something, the more you get out of it. No matter how you look at it, I brought a lot of food to school, right?

It turns out that this effort idea applies to more than just acting. My sophomore year, I went canvassing with my friends instead of Kelly, hoping to avoid controversy altogether and get it done right. Somehow, that plan never quite works out for me. After a twenty-house run with my partner, who I’ll call “Jake,” we compared bags with a pair of our female friends, and they had literally three times as much as us. Not that we were competing or anything, but my friend and I felt like perhaps we weren’t being as efficient as we could be, so we snuck up behind the girls as they approached the next house and watched their routine. They’d walk up to the door, look at their reflections in the window, primp their hair, put on lipstick, unzip their jackets just the tiniest bit, and ring the doorbell. When the resident appeared, the girls would beam, flash their Jesuit ID cards, and bubble out their cute spiel about helping the needy and doing well whatever they did, prompting whoever had come to the door to smile warmly and say “Let me see what I can do for you ladies.” Invariably, they returned with an armload of cans and then—get this—asked if it was enough. The girls would smile awkwardly, say, “well, sure, I guess so,” and be rewarded with boxes of cereal or mashed potatoes. It looked so ridiculously easy. Clearly, Jake and I had only one course of action.

We returned to my house, where Kelly, now a senior, was only too happy to help save the world by dressing us up in scarves, skirts, and wigs, and applying several pounds of makeup to our once-manly faces. Jake and Ken, now Jaycee and Kenrietta, were on the beat. Over the course of the next three hours, we solicited nonperishables from no less than ninety houses, learning valuable lessons about friendship and cross-dressing along the way. Token friendship lesson: my friendship with Jake is dead now that I have mentioned this incident. Token cross-dressing lesson: uncooked spaghetti strands poking out of a wool hat cannot effectively pass for long hair. At the end of the day, Jake had collected five cans of food, and I had a box of Au Gratin potatoes and a bag of fortune cookies. It turns out that there’s a fine line that you have to walk between a deep, coarse sophomore manling’s normal voice and a shaky Mickey Mouse falsetto to be a convincing woman. Neither Jake nor I could do it, which in retrospect does not bother me at all, but it meant quite a few doors were slammed in our faces. My sincere advice to the sophomore boys is to learn from our mistake and never, ever canvass in a skirt without first shaving your legs. In fact, it would probably be best if you avoided the skirt route entirely. And if you don’t, for the love of God make sure you don’t know anyone in the neighborhoods you canvass, or take my word for it, you will have a lot of explaining to do.

Anyway, this doesn’t mean that I was wrong about putting effort in; it just means that the appropriate effort there would not have been becoming temporary transvestites but rather emulating the girls by being friendly and persistent and smiling. Who knew. At least that year I got a T-shirt.

So Junior year rolled around, and I was very excited for the Food Drive. After all, Kelly had moved out, which meant things couldn’t go wrong nearly as much as the last couple years, I could drive, which meant freedom and power no matter how you looked at it, and I had a brand new cell phone, which made me feel really cool. Most of all, I was an upperclassman. Nothing could stop me. I was absolutely sure it was going to be a banner year for the JHS Food Drive until the day I’d planned to begin canvassing, when my friend Patrick arrived to help me out and it started to rain. I don’t mean your-mama’s-sprinklers-in-August-because-you-feel-like-it rain, either. This was Noah’s Ark rain. This was rain like a your-sister-dumping-a-whole-frickin’-bucket-on-your-head-because-you-drowned-her-Ken-doll deluge. But I was determined. Patrick and I set out for the neighborhood we’d planned on anyway, figuring that if worst came to worst we could always just get back in the van and dry off.

We didn’t realize what a nice neighborhood we’d selected, though. The houses were hundreds of feet apart, and even if we drove from driveway to driveway, there were still long sprints through the downpour to get to the doors. Scanning our surroundings, Patrick casually said, “Maybe we should canvass later, Ken.” No, no, no. He didn’t understand. We were juniors, we were upperclassmen, and now was the time! I was in my groove, and any thought of giving up was treason. Canvass later? Canvass later, Ken? Yeah, paint later, Picasso! Compose later, Chopin! Teach later, Jesus! Actually, Jesus must have been listening to my arrogance, because He really tried his best to put me in my place. The first doorbell we rang brought us a weaselly-looking guy who said he’d see what he had. Trying to lift the canvassing morale while we were waiting for him to return, I cracked a joke about his appearance, something warm and witty, along the lines of “Jesus God, for his children’s sake, I hope he marries someone pretty.” I didn’t see that the intercom light was on. Oops. No soup for me. The next house found us face to face with a man who seemed nice enough, but when asked for nonperishables handed me an open, half-empty box of Cheerios. We politely told him that we could not accept opened items. He smiled, nodded, left, and returned with the same box of Cheerios, this time with the cardboard flap tucked in. Now we had to explain that the opposite of “opened” was “unopened,” not “closed.” When he came back the third time, he had removed the plastic bag of Cheerios from the cardboard box and stapled it shut, eighteen times. As far as I could tell, he wasn’t mocking us. He just didn’t quite get it. The next two houses gave us eight cans of garbanzo beans. I tried to explain to the five-year-old who was bringing us the cans that we had plenty of garbanzo beans, and he seemed to understand, but when I suggested maybe donating some box macaroni and cheese, he started to cry, so his father sprinted to the front room, saw me trying to explain myself to his bawling child, and shut the door in my face.

So far, we were not performing up to Chopin or Jesus standards. I decided that we’d try one last house, then give up. It seemed to be going really well until the old man asked to speak with my mother to prove I wasn’t just stealing his food. To make a long story short here, I dropped my cell phone in a puddle, and when I let the man take the phone so he could dry it off, he decided it would be more efficient to microwave the phone than to use a towel. That marked the end of last year’s canvassing experience.And now here I am, a Jesuit High School senior. I have one more try, and I’m going to make the best of it. No pity plays, no cross-dressing, no arrogance. I am going to put my all into it, from searching my pantry for cans to purchasing the rest at the grocery store. No, I’m kidding, I’ll canvass. Fourth time’s the charm, right? Right?

******************************

Note: I replaced sophomore year with something about it being disturbing and my therapist not letting me talk about it... I mentioned Kenrietta, skirts, and lip gloss. Also, Mike Merz advised me backstage that "some people haven't heard of Chopin" so I replaced him with Beethoven. 'Cause who hasn't heard of Beethoven?

Final point: none of it (except for the guy with the cheerios, and that was exaggerated) happened. And if it did, three words: statue of limitations.

[edit] I really am going canvassing, just not sure when. Anyone up for coordinating a massive sweep?

Why I Want To Go To College

Now that we are all most definately seniors, it seems to me that the only thing of importance to any adult I meet is my answer to the consistant question: "So, where are you going to school next year?" (this is sometimes replaced by "So, what are your plans for next year?" as if i might decide to backpack through the Himalayas or become a scuba diver instead of fulfilling my parents dreams and getting that nice college sticker to put on the back of the car.)

But at the moment I'm not even worried about where I'll be next year, but more concerned with all the cool shit we get to do! I have begun a list:

1. No curfew
2. NO DRESS CODE (I tried to explain my excitement about having no dress code in college in a comment on Magda's blog, but it turned into the proclamation: I like boys! ...so i'll try again: no dress code means we can show the whole world our collective collar bones and they can't stop us, and wear flip flops, and tank tops, and lots of wonderful things...I might just spend an entire year dressing like a slut just to get it out of my system.)
3. Eating whatever we want
4. Sleeping
5. Not being confined to our single Jesuit image (football player, swimmer, boy scout...)
6. Dorm Rooms (For whatever reason, I think dorm rooms are the greatest things ever. It's like going to Girl Scout Camp all the time...except i cried when i went to Girl Scout Camp because I was so homesick...but dorm rooms ROCK!)
7. I like taking care of myself without my parents
8. It's Not Here (I suppose that would be one of the main reasons...)

By saying "it's not here" I don't mean I can't wait to leave and meet new people and create this completley new life at college, in fact I'm terrified of leaving all you guys and all those people who I talk to at school everyday, but probably won't really keep in contact with after we graduate. That, to me, is very scary...and exciting.

Winter "Casual"

So, how bout that dance? I pulled into the parking lot at about 8:10 and realized it was more or less empty. By more or less empty, I mean emptier than sader was last year. It was at this point that I first questioned the whether I had made the right choice by coming. On the way in, a woman grabbed us and had us pose with our cans, which was cool and weird at the same time...I tried to turn mine so the label was facing out like in an ad. We'll see if that one turns out or not. When I walked into the knight center, Mr. Rombach grabbed me for a breathalyzer test. I was seriusly estatic. I mean, really, I've never *been* breathalyzered before. How did one work? Rombach jokingly said I'd probably been drunk since the game the previous night...not a bad thought, as I imagine quite a few players were. Sadly (or luckily?) I came out 0.00...meaning no alchohol in my steak. Most disapointing.
The dance floor was emptier than the parking lot. After a bit of goofing around, we ended up in a big circle while some kids did break dancing moves in the center. This quickly got tiring, though, and we filled it in (a decent number of people arrived late, allowing us to fill it in.) Shortly after this, dave and mishka were told they were "dancing too close" or something like that...which was rather ironic, as later in the dance I observed a few people who were doing a passable immitation of having sex in the middle of the dance floor. Awkward indeed.
Twice during the dance, the music cut out. The first time it took a good 5-10 minutes to fix (that's how long it felt, anyways) and we entertained outselves with acapella renditions of Come Sail Away (finally getting it "played" at a dance ;D), Build Me Up Butter Cup, and Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog. This was the second, and last, time I questioned the wiseness of the dance. Afterall, if the music hadn't come back on, coming to the dance would have been a waste of time. Luckily, the evening was saved. By the end, I was sore as hell but had had a good time. Not as good as prom, maybe not quite as good as HC, but a good time nevertheless.

-JB

Batman Poster

Hey all,

So, the response to the last Batman post was so good...I shall now post all new and important stuff regarding Batman Begins, which increasingly looks like the best thing since...probably pie. Naturally, I will not bring you ALL the news, because that gets a little insane (hit the link on the title for the site that will tell you everything you wanted to know, and some stuff you didn't, about Batman Begins).

But that said, here is the teaser poster, which kicks all kinds of ass.



THIS WEEK...I'm talking any day now...the new trailer will be released. Word is it'll be attached to EVERY print of Ocean's 12. Which means, of course, I know what I'll be doing Friday night.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

If only to be better than Scott...

This is my long-awaited review of "Closer." Finially, a review by someone other than the illustrious Scott.

"Closer" sucked.

This was perhaps the most degrading, whiniest, and overall worst movie that I have seen in a long time. It makes me long desperatly to see "Garden State." That or gouge my eyes out. And "Garden State" blew. Hard. Just like my mom. Through out most of the movie, I was I was bored out of my mind. The only thing that kept me awake, or in the theaters at all is the alluring thought of Natalie Portman's chest, an obsession of mine ever since seeing "Attack of the Clones." If only. The whole movie, no Natalie Portman. Sad. What a waste of two hours. And six bucks. And it's not like I can "wait for the DVD," because if I ever see tha movie again, I will be forced to shoot something, probably the TV, but quite possibly the person who made me watch this travesty of a movie.

Now to the reasons that I hate this God-forsaken movie. First of all, I hate Jude Law. He might have been okay in "Sky Captain," but in that, he didn't look exactly like Ryan MacArdle. And, as the person who has known Ryan twice as long as anybody else on this blog has, don't try to deny it. First of all, Jude Law whines the whole movie. He has a good thing, then he goes off, and screws another woman, then decides that she isn't good enough for him, only to go whining back to the first girl, who is like half of his age, and obviously too good for him (She is a stripper). What an asshole. Then he whines when the woman that he is having sex with has sex with someone else, the same person that he screwed over by screwing his wife, the person he has sex with. So apparently it is okay for him to be unfaithful, but as soon as someone does it to him, suddenly he is hurt and turns into a giant pussy. Which brings us to my next point, Jude Law is a pussy. This one scene, he just starts crying for no reason. Oh, he does has a reason you say? No he doesn't. He is just a victim of the crime that he himself has commited. It's not like he learns his lesson, either, he keeps screwing over everyone he screws. Then he threw the most pulled slap I've ever seen. I mean John was more realistic in the "A Murder in Hollywood," and that's saying something, no offense, Kelse.

Second, WTF? That was the most offensive movie I have ever seen. And that includes everything by Trey Parker. At least he was tasteful about it. This movie did nothing but promote fornication, adultery, and overall pathetically casual sexual promiscuity. I mean I like sex in movies as much as the next guy, but honestly, somewhere a line is drawn. And then trampled on. And then had sex on. This is the most harmful, and awful disregard for everything sacred. Sex is used as an object, something to be possessed, to be used, even as a weapon, and a form of revenge. These attitudes are harmful to society, and do nothing but entertain our own sick fantasies and promote the cheapning of one of our greatest gifts. Now I am not usually the one to go off about God, but seriously. Am I the only person who got sick of Whiner having sex with Stripper, at the same time as screwing stupid artist, who just happens to be married to asshole, and then asshole has sex with stripper when stupid decides to divorce him to go with whiner, who dumps her when she screws asshole to get a divorce, but then goes back to him, and whiner to stripper until stripper finds out that whiner knows about stripper screwing asshole, etc. I mean Jesus. Am I the only one who found the movie sick, and not entertaining. Apparently I am, because some people like movies about whining and sex. I don't know, I'm done. Oh wait, no I'm not. The movie is set in London, too, that just makes the movie suck all the more. Actually I'm glad that American soil was not desecrated in the shooting of this heinous, hienous, crime.

Honestly, what was the point of the movie? If anyone knows, I would love to be informed. It wasn't even a love movie. By any means. Love had very little to do with it. Love is not traded casually, used to hurt people, and able to be shared so freely between more than one person.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Coolest Website Ever

Its Devon heaven. I was researching websites for the Question of the Week ( which shall be henceforth referred to as the Qdub by all bloggers) and typed in some Vietcong booby trap thing, hoping to come up with a unique site for Hahn. I found that. This place has everything. State-of-the-art blowguns and throwings stars to lock picks and stink bombs. Let's all buy ninja suits and form a dojo. Adrianna will be our sensai. We could fight crime, or at least the Republicans.

post script
OK, you caught me, I just wanted a post to keep our streak going. But consider this as proof of the low standards I have for post quality. I am a very self-critical person, so if I allow myself to post stuff like this (and this is one of my better posts) think of what you can get away with!

post post script
I just saw that Hahn expanded the question to be about anything in 60's American history. That should make it a lot easier. Not that he really grades it or anything. I will give the first person who can show me that they completely made up a website and a description of it and still got 5 points a shiny Sacajawea dollar. And that being your only reply to him. No tricking me guys, I'm really gullible.

post post post script
No wait, I found a better site
http://www.illuminati-news.com/rock_and_mc.htm

"I believe that Brittany Spears, Eminem, and others are being used by them to sing lyrics they like (ever notice that he wears a Neo-Nazi look and sings hate lyrics? This is NOT by chance).

In fact, many of the top pop singers come from an internship with the "Mickey Mouse club" (yep, good old Walt the Illuminist's Empire) and I believe they are offered stardom in exchange for allegiance or mind control. How many lyrics advocate suicide, violence, despair, or New Age spirituality in pop/rock today? Or just get a copy of the words and read (but be aware that many are possibly triggering to survivors of mind control)."

The link is about how the Beatles were an experiment in brain washing our youth into accepting change. That excerpt itself is from the homepage. There is more. And its really funny/creepy as hell, especially because they are dead serious. Apparantly "riffs" make us subjective to sub-messages. Who knew?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

And lo, the waiting game begins...

So yeah in 2 hours or so, the very first serious college admissions deadline many of us have faced (except for those November 1st overachievers in our midst) will have come and gone, and a new game will begin... the waiting game! I have already begun significantly lowering my expectations about my college admissions status to a variety of fine instiutions in preperation for my acceptance or denial. Yeah because if I get accepted, I can be all happy and like "well that was unexpected!" But if I get denied I can be all like "well that was expected!"

Anyway, mid-late December cannot arrive soon enough. NOT SOON ENOUGH!

Go its for your own good

yes its a shameless plug get over it...now go

http://pinkhibiscus .blogspot.com

it's pink; it's girly; it's perfect

http://pinkhibiscus .blogspot.com

~cynda


Return of the King extended edition

Oh my god, this preview is amazing. Click the title to see it. If a window doesn't pop up immediately after you get to the lord of the rings website, there's a link on the left side of the page. This monstrous DVD comes out Dec. 14, so uh, if anyone wants to be man or woman of the year, they can lend me $20 to go buy it.

~Nancy

PS. Doesn't Barrie Osborne look exactly like Mr. Benware?