The Ramblings (Part I)

The ramblings… Since I’ve returned from overseas, I’ve kept a file with me (either an open xemacs window, or a piece of paper, or the back of my hand.) wherever I’m at, and when something strikes me that seems worth talking about [on here], I write it down, in the hopes that when I do finally find some free time to write, I’ll have a full list of topics to write about. Well the file has gotten a bit large, but I never seem to have any time to write. This past week has been quite busy, and I’ve been coming down with some sort of illness that is really, really annoying me, and causing me to just collapse and fall asleep as early as 1:00 most nights… Anyway, after a full long day today, I decided to try to write about at least a few of the file entries, with the hopes that if I keep picking away at the list, eventually I’ll be back up to speed. Here’s the first of what will likely take 3 or 4 entries to get through.

Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines

I went and saw Terminator 3, or T-3, as the kids call it these days, a little while back (the 4th). I didn’t know what to expect, having very much enjoyed the first 2 (well, certainly the 2nd one, anyway.). I hadn’t heard much about it, which made me believe that it either:

1.) Was good, but not great [The thought being that if it sucked hardcore (like Waterworld or Battlefield Earth) you would have heard a lot about it, ditto if it was fantastically amazing.)

2.) I’ve been too busy to watch TV.

My take on the movie? I thought it was quite good. It wasn’t the epic that I hold T-2 to be, nor did I feel it was a lame attempt to do the exact same movie over again with flashier special effects. I thought the movie was first and foremost “fun”. The action sequences were excellent, and while calling them “original” would be silly (seriously, action sequences == “blow shit up“. Once it’s been done, it’s been done.), they did keep to their own style, rather than trying to become another Matrix clone or something. One of the kewl things about the Terminator movies is that the fighting is just pure strength. They’re trying to beat the hell out of each other, and do so with big guns, and throwing each other into walls and buildings. No crazy karate moves, intricate sword battles, none of that. They just grab each other and smash each other up. I think that’s kewl.

Another thing T-3 had going for it was what I will call the “hotness” factor. Kristanna Loken is hot. Claire Danes is also hot. Quite frankly, if Kristanna was chasing after me, trying to kill me, I’d let her catch me… and I bet it would be the most rewarding relationship I’ve ever had with a woman.

The final thing that really made me enjoy T-3 is the ending. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t yet seen it, but I will say that it was certainly not what I was expecting, and it’s one of those endings where you can sit around afterwards and try to figure out what really happened, what will really happen, and how everything is supposed to work together. So there you have it. T-3 gets a thumbs up from me. You should see it. I’d like to see it again. So you should see it with me. I’m free this Monday.

Igby Goes Down

Robb was home last Sunday, and so we watched Igby Goes Down, a movie featuring [among others]: Kieran Culkan, Claire Danes, Ryan Phillippe, and Amanda Peet. I’ve already mentioned that Claire Danes is hot, so I guess I don’t need to repeat that (she’s hot). This movie is hard to describe, but I really enjoyed it. One thing this movie has going for it is the dialog. The movie has characters that actually talk to each other, rather than simply recite important bullet points to introduce the next necessary plot element. You can identify with these characters (some more than others, I guess), and when their lives start to unravel, you experience their pain with them. I thought Clair Danes’ Sookie and Culkin’s Igby were particularly wonderful. Their conversations with each other seemed both natural and meaningful. I found myself really feeling for Igby as he took the ride up and then down love’s cruel roller-coaster. Ryan Phillippe’s Ollie was perfectly hateable, which I’m assuming was his job in the film anyway. For me, all he’d have to do is show up, look at the screen and say “Hey, I’m that ass-hat from Cruel Intentions. Remember me? [..and how much that movie sucked?]”. Igby Goes Down also gets a thumbs up, and you should see it. Come on over, we have it on DVD. I think I’m going out to see a movie Monday, so maybe late Tuesday?

Sad but True

While certainly not a new thought, events in the past month have once again reminded me that a great majority of married couples, and married people in general, have no idea how to interact with single people. At all.

Elite Forces

I did finally install, and start playing Elite Forces. it’s the First-Person shooter for PC featuring the crew of Star Trek : Voyager. I’ve not had a chance to play it that much, but in the very opening level, you’re fighting against the Borg on their ship, and as you enter different areas, the Borg drones from that area begin to adapt to your weapons. So you’re firing away, and knocking people off, then all of a sudden, your weapon has no affect, and they just keep walking toward you. I’ve found that this instantly creates within me what I like to call “the fear”. (The Fear –> A state of being when one is almost completely certain that any action taken will result in serious pain of death. Ironically, the absence of action will result in certain death.). In real life, “the fear” is a bad thing (see: Riding motorbikes through the hills of Italy.), in a video game “the fear” is the sign that the game has done a fine job of pulling you in to itself. Metroid Prime was so far (and by far) the best game to create and sustain within me “the fear”. By the end, the music alone had me cowering in the corner praying for mercy.

Another interesting thing about Elite Forces is that it’s not just run around and blow stuff up. The second mission was navigating throughout the ship (through Jeffries Tubes, Turbolifts, etc.) to make it to main engineering to help avert a warp core breach. That’s neat.

Sendmail

Off and on for the past 2 weeks I’ve been trying to install and run sendmail, so I can get main here at ronveenstra.com. I’ve failed miserably on every attempt, but near as I can tell, the os was kinda hosed anyway, and the fact that the few things that did work actually worked would be reason enough to have me declared a saint upon my death. (that means it was a miracle, for you people unfamiliar with the rules for sainthood). I did finally decide that in order to get sendmail working I’d have to start over with this machine, do a fresh install of a Linux os, and try it that way. So for the moment, I called it quits and left it as is.

4 thoughts on “The Ramblings (Part I)

  1. You know, us married people aren’t all bad. Sometimes we do dumb things, like trying to set you up on dates with people we already know are amazingly and tragically wrong for you, or say things like “when the hell are you going to get married Ron?” But most of the time, we’re just wanting to get along. Please, for the love of god, why can’t we just get along?

    Also — I’d like to point out that a fair share of single people (I’m not necessarily including you here, Ron) *look* for things to get angry about with married couples. Don’t believe me? Watch an episode or two of “sex and the city” and then hang around a bit with the single people who are addicted to that show. The vitriol that spews from those TV-women’s mouths gets echoed in theirs. I’ve seen it happen.

    Also — I’d like to see T3 as well. I know we’re well past Monday by this point, but do you still want to see it again? I don’t think Rachel wants to see it, so this’d be one she wouldn’t me seeing with “the guys.”

  2. 1.) I should have added (and did mention when talking to Andy), that the married guys here at work are one shining exception. I can’t speak much for when they are with their spouses, having not spent significant time with anyone from work when they were with their spouse, but the guys here seemed to have magically retained their ability to relate to the “less fortunate”. My theory was that, as we are of a similar geek persuasion, the married among us are keenly aware of how fortunate they are to have tricked some unsuspecting woman into marrying them, and haven’t slipped into the “single people are the wretched failures who probably still pee their pants” mode that others adopt shortly after their honeymoon. For the record, I’d still take “when the hell are you going to get married?” over :

    a.) “You know what you should do…” insert completely stupid-assed idea that involves either

    1. lying about who I am in order to find someone I wouldn’t want to spend any amount of time with anyway,

    2. radically altering my beliefs and my personality in order to better fit what some flake of a girl has in mind, who is “just perfect for me” according to the advice-giver
    (“She likes Star Wars! Just like you!“)

    3. doing exactly that which has failed me repeatedly the past 7.5 years.

    b.) “We need to find you a woman…” [used as the answer to every life problem, including (but certainly not limited to) “what to do tonight”, “what I should eat for dinner”, and “what car insurance I should get.”] I think I might hate this one the most, because it’s so |=|_|[|<1||6 condescending…and said so frequently. [even after polite requests to “never say that damn phrase to me again”]

    c.) “You know, it’s okay to never get married.” This told to me by my grandmother, shortly after she learned that I had broken up with my most recent girlfriend (about 4 or 5 months earlier). I was 23. In this area, that seems to be seen as about 6 months shy of “alone forever”. These kind words were followed by a number of examples of other tragically single people who managed to be come capable, productive members of society despite their complete and utter failure.

    d.) Anything that includes the phrase “you’re just the kind of guy I would want to date if I weren’t ” A) Married B) Dating a jackass C) Gay D) so violently disgusted by your physical appearance.

    2.) Sex in the City failed to impress me. I guess I missed the part where it was supposed to be funny or entertaining. I do know there are plenty of fairly rabid “anti-married people” people out there. I’m confident that the law of averages provides enough other people to hate them back just as much. The circle of hate rarely fails, or misses groups of people.

    3.) I’d certainly be up for seeing T-3 again. Finding a time to do so may prove difficult, being the social butterfly that I am, and all.

  3. I should also chime in about the whole “married people” thing.

    I have been on the receiving end of the “Joel, we need to find you a woman” comment, and I must say, it’s not all that self-esteem inducing.

    The statement usually comes from someone who has successfully found a woman/man already, without someone saying “we need to find you a (wo)man” to them. This person is, therefore, obviously just bursting with success at mate-finding and must share his or her expertise with me. Anyone who feels compelled to share their unasked-for expertise with me has several points against them.

    This statement implies that I can’t do this by myself (this may be true, but people don’t need to tell me that. Let me figure that out by myself).

    This statement is also designed to trick me. By using “we” in the “we need to find you a woman”, it puts me and the woman-finder on a team, as if we’re doing this together. But why are we a team? Won’t the woman-finder be doing the work? If the “I need to find me a woman” hasn’t worked, how will “we need to find you a woman” work as a collaborative effort? Isn’t it much more likely going to be “I need to find you a woman”?

    Hm… I guess “Hey Joel, go ahead and sit around and play video games like you normally do, and I’ll deliver a woman” isn’t all that bad a proposition after all.

    If anyone needs me, I’ll be playing Jedi Knight II.

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