Saturday, May 30, 2009

Movie Rules

Horror movies:
  • Splitting up is certain death.
  • Hooking up with the hot chick before the killer is dealt with is certain death.
  • Walking up to inspect a body lying on the ground is certain death.
  • Thinking it's over is certain death.
  • If you're a jerk, you're going to die a horrible death.
  • If you're a jerk, but redeem yourself at some point, you'll die, but it won't be as painful.
  • Only the nice guys and hot girls survive.
  • If you see/hear something suspicious, don't investigate.  Really just a more general version of the "dead" body rule.
Action hero movies:
  • If you haven't killed your nemesis yet, then the moment you're happy and think everything's going your way is the moment right before true tragedy strikes.
  • Everything blows up.  Use that to your advantage.
  • No matter how much you get shot at, the worst that'll happen is your leg will get shot.
  • You'll never have to feel guilty for killing the hundreds of guards just doing their jobs.  Don't worry.
  • Don't make friends with anyone because they'll either betray you or get killed right before your eyes.  (See the first rule of action hero movies)
Romantic comedy movies:
  • If you're in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, expect it to fail very shortly.
  • No matter how many embarassing situations arise that would make a girl in real life lose all interest in you, she'll still be interested in you.
Any movie with a computer:
  • You never have to worry about learning Unix or DOS commands because every system has a convenient GUI to use when you've hacked into their system.
  • Hacking is a simple process of hitting random keys very rapidly until you say "I'm in!"
  • Viruses always have some visual effect to your computer like a silly animation mocking you or graphical corruptions on the screen.
  • All computer programmers are geniuses can make any program for any purpose.  This one's actually true.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Ever since moving to Monterey, I've been trying to get more and more connected to a church.  This is especially true after Pastor Bryan spoke on faithless action and faithless inaction.  Faithless action is when you strive so hard for something you want without putting God in the equation until at some point, that thing you are striving for becomes your god.  Faithless inaction is when you rely so much on God's promise to bless you that you do nothing, but wait.  God doesn't reward laziness.

After hearing that sermon, I finally got off my butt and got the courage to join a dGroup (Monterey Church's small group).  Then the following Sunday after going to church, I was invited to Easter dinner by the leader of my small group and met more people.  So I could immediately see God's blessing with just one tiny bit of action.  But still I was afraid to do much more for awhile.  There's been a constant call to help with children's church and setup/teardown of the theater we meet in before and after church, but week after week I would dash out of church passing those sign up sheets by.

Over a month later I wrote this and realized I was doing the same thing as before.  Letting my excuses control me.  So the next Sunday service I signed up to help setup since I figured I'm always up early anyway, I might as well do something good with that time before church.  So I sign up and then the following Saturday, I get an e-mail telling me what time I need to be at church for this.  Turns out my early (around 7:30) wasn't as early enough since I needed to be at church at 6 am.  I had also promised my housemate, Mike, that I would pick him up from Monterey airport at 11 pm the night before I had to be at church at 6 am.  So this was ample opportunity for me to come up with excuses that were actually somewhat legitimate.  But I remembered what I had resolved to do about excuses and did both like I said I would.  It was difficult, but it was worth it.

So I figured now I'm connected enough.  I'm doing some nice behind the scenes work for the church and I've got my small group and I've been going to church consistently.  Well I guess God's not done with me yet.  After small group this week, one of the other members suggested I become a small group leader myself.  Immediately I felt scared and I could feel the excuses coming up.  I've never really liked being a leader, I prefer the behind the scenes stuff.  I have concerns for meeting at my house since I have three housemates and I don't want to kick them out of the main room.  Etc.  Etc.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  After more discussion, our current dGroup leader, Pam, said she might be leaving for good soon.  She's still not sure, but if she did she wouldn't want the group to just fall apart.  So I'm pretty much getting all the signs that I should be doing this (I don't want to, but I feel I should; there seems to be a need; I seem well equipped to fulfill that need).  As a first step I'm going to teach a lesson (I guess next week?) at dGroup.  We'll see how God guides me after that, but I'm pretty sure I've finally gotten the hint.

The most comforting thing for me is Pastor Bryan has said on a few occasions that he also never wanted to be a pastor.  He too wanted to be a behind the scenes guy.  But he felt God calling him to being the pastor and I'm glad God did because Pastor Bryan was one of the biggest reasons I kept going to this church.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Treknology

Star Trek has a lot of technology that I really look forward to enjoying (whether that's a realistic hope or not).  Teleporters to eliminate traffic jams, car pollution, and long distances.  Replicators to eliminate hunger, lack of food variation, and bad cooking.  Holodecks to see what it's like to pilot a Gundam, to travel to Ireland without going anywhere, and to play in a jazz club without fear of being booed off the stage.  But after this week, the technology I want most from any series of Star Trek is the Borg alcove.  I had to look up the name for this thing and I am incredibly underwhelmed.  The purpose of the alcove is a place for a Borg drone to go for 6 hours for their regeneration cycles (basically sleep).  What I would love is if every night, I could go into a device and just turn it on and not worry about having to fall asleep or being woken up by stuff in the middle of the night or getting the right amount of sleep.

The quality of my sleep seems to come in cycles and I am currently in the "constantly being woken up in the middle of the night" cycle.  Whether it's because I didn't drink enough water that day and wake up at 4, 5, or 6 with a very dry throat, because I'm overheated, or because of a bad dream, something keeps waking up in the middle of the night and then my brain thinks it's morning, so it starts going off thinking about what I want to/have to/get to do that day and I can't get back to sleep even though I need it.  Even if I can get back to sleep, it never seems to be as useful as a full 8 hours of unconciousness.

Eventually this loss of sleep catches up and then I start sleeping well again.  This is very tedious and overall I find sleep to be very stressful and not a pleasant thing.  As Q put it in the episode Deja Q (I had to look this all up, I'm not THAT much of a Star Trek geek):

Q: [Captain Picard visits Q in the brig] Truthfully, Jean-Luc, I've been entirely preoccupied by a most frightening experience of my own. A couple of hours ago, I've realized that my body was no longer functioning properly. I felt weak, I could no longer stand, the life was oozing out of me, I lost consciousness... 
Capt. Picard: You fell asleep.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Time Management and Hobbies

The reason I left Liquid back in November was because the job was taking away all of my free time, so I had no time to invest in anything else.  Whenever I did get any time and spent it with friends, I never had anything interesting to say about what I had been up to recently because it was always the same: "Work."  This really started to bug me because it always made me feel like I was a really boring person to talk to.  It also worried me because part way through Rise of the Argonauts I realized that I didn't want to move up in Liquid and thus I wanted my life to be about something other than that job, but I had no time to make my life about anything else.

Now that I have the time to spend developing my hobbies and doing other things I enjoy, I'm finding I completely suck at time management.  I have so many different projects I want to work on or games I want to play or TV shows I want to watch that I find it hard to pick one and focus on it.  I'll be in the middle of something and then a stray thought will pop into my head making me think of one of my other projects or remember a great moment in some game I played and then suddenly I'm switching projects again.  Or when deciding what to do, my infernal need to complete my mental checklist will sort it in order of quickest things to complete, which is almost always watching my weekly shows or playing a video game and then BAM no more free time.  I don't always feel like this time is wasted, but I feel like I let down the projects that are actually more important to me and my future.  What's worse is that the longer I take to get back to a project, the harder it is to go back to it because I'm either out of practice (piano), forgot what I was doing (game design), or I feel like no one's going to care since I ignored the project for so long (blogging).

What I've realized lately is that these are all just really lame excuses.  A friend of mine once called me the King of Excuses back in high school.  That comment has haunted me to this day because of how true it was and still is.  I'm quite masterful at giving excuses why I should or shouldn't do something (not usually very good excuses).  What's even worse is I know I'm doing it and the part of me that knows I should or shouldn't do whatever it is I'm weaseling out of/into to has a hard time fighting the much stronger lazy and selfish part of me.  If you've ever seen the movie Yesman (and if not I highly recommend you watch it - with me if possible), I feel almost exactly like Jim Carrey's character.  What I've started to do (prior to watching that movie, but more so after watching it) is if I feel a reservation about doing something for a lame or selfish reason, then I commit myself to whatever it is I'm trying to get out of before I have a chance to make an excuse.

What started this particular ramble is that it's almost been a month since my last post and it was a few weeks between that and the previous post.  I know myself well enough to know where that's going to leave this blog if the part of me that cares about this blog doesn't take a stand.  So from now on I'm committing to at least one post a week, most likely on Fridays (because I do so love routines and schedules).  Hopefully once I get that discipline down I can commit to more a week because my favorite webcomics and blogs are the ones that post consistently a few times per week and I want to be one of my favorites.  :)