Thursday, December 10, 2009

I watched Twilight.

More thoughts on our trip:

I watched Twilight (the first one). [SPOILER ALERT] I think it was ok. It was entertaining. I know that the movie is old and many people have mocked it. A few points I found:

1. One time I had this great sandwich. I wouldn't say we were in
love, but if I had tried to kiss it without biting it, I think that
might have been really hard for me. Also, watching the sandwich grow
old while I aged only negligibly would've been a real struggle for me (for one thing it cost like $6). So, yeah, I feel like I can totally relate to e cullen's
plight. He made it look easy.

2. I feel like if e cullen ever does bite and kill Ella, they could maybe
adapt "[S]he lives in you" from the Lion King broadway show just to
make e cullen not feel so bad--you are what you eat, right?

3. The romance seemed contrived. I mean, sure, e cullen is good-looking and talented
in some sense, but considering that he doesn't pay attention to Ella, that he is weird in a lot of BAD ways and that he's not really funny or anything, I feel like her feelings are unreasonably strong and that they appear essentially ex nihilo.

This is actually reassuring to me:

a. If romantic interest were strictly the result of rational calculation, rejection would be a much stronger indictment of your quality and value as a person (especially if you were attracted to the other person precisely because of the accuracy of their calculations and analysis).

b. Perhaps this will work out in my favor at some point (e.g. people will be like, "There's no reason a girl of that caliber should have fallen for you," and I'll be like, "Shut up! Love makes no sense!").

(Many aspects of life that seem arbitrary, irrational or "unfair" in some way tend to be unfair in my favor.)

4. I was hoping "you're my own personal brand of heroine" would be
more punny--like since Ella is the heroine of the only story that e
cullen has ever appeared in, maybe e cullen could've been breaking the fourth
wall a little bit? It wasn't clear to me that he meant it like that,

Other, less-useful puns like this that I've found:

"You're my own personal brand of miner character" (said to a
miner who doesn't have many lines?)

"You're my own personal brand of sage" (said to a plant that
also fits the wise-old-man archetype--maybe plant is a pun, too.
Like, a politician takes a question from someone and he says "You're
my own personal brand of sage" to the questioner, and everyone thinks
he's complimenting the unconventional wisdom of the question-asker, but really he's
acknowledging that the questioner was prepped beforehand by the
politician's staff).

Dang. These are hard to think of.

5. I hoped I'd relate to James (the bad vampire) more since we
share a name, but I just couldn't. I mean, it's fine to love the
chase, but at some point doesn't he realize that there are like 100
million people between the Olympic Peninsula and Phoenix that he could
be eating? I mean, if that particular teenage girl wasn't the main character of the movie, I don't think she'd be a particularly compelling or challenging target. For one thing, she turns out to be
unbelievably gullible.

(I'm trying to imagine how he would have boasted to his vampire buddies if he had been successful:

"My plan was to call her and say 'Come to the dance studio without your bodyguards so I can kill you' and she was like 'Ok' and then I killed her when she got to the dance studio!"

"Good kill! You da man, James!"

"And the best part is that some vampire I had just met was really mad about it!--I hate people I've met only briefly!"

"Oh yeah! Recent acquaintances are such jerks!")

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thoughts on my trip part 2

The trip was great:

We played Loaded Questions. My favorite response came from my mother to a question about what she'd name a song about her true love. She put:

A guitar, a wit and a lot of crazy dreams.

This was hard to guess because I thought that this was one of those jokes where it sounds like you're gonna put a swear word to make it rhyme, but then you don't (read it like "A guitar, a wit and a lot of crazy . . .uh . . . dreams"). Of course, this didn't even occur to my mother (whom I can't even recall ever having sworn). If it had been my turn to guess, I'd have missed it for sure.

Loaded questions also lets one appreciate (read: be jealous of) the wit and intelligence of my 10-year-old sister. When asked with whom she'd like to have a photograph she responds "Well, not with any celebrities or family members because I already have so many of those. . . Ha Ha." When asked to name her autobiography, she puts "[insert my name here]: Shocking a panicked nation." During a game of loaded questions years ago, when asked what she'd say on her last day on the air at a radio station she put "I'm not wearing pants." I don't think I was writing stuff like that when I was 10 (or even now sometimes).

Same thing with the little facts she knows. During a discussion of political offices, she cites Jesse Ventura as an example of a governor. I didn't hear about Jesse Ventura until I was 15 (when he was elected governor of Minnesota, naturally. . . ha ha). Still, it's a little intimidating when the same small pieces of political trivia that I know (and on which I can barely elaborate--I mean, governor, Navy SEAL, wrestler--that's basically EVERYTHING I know about Ventura) are shared by my sister who was an infant when he was elected (though, I don't think she was able to elaborate past governor--so maybe I haven't entirely wasted the 15 year head start I have on her).

My sleeping arrangements were odd, but comfortable enough: Instead of a sheet, I had a table cloth. Instead of a blanket I had a towel. I mean, it was by far the biggest towel I've ever seen--big enough to be a blanket, I guess. Still, it is not often that there are no extra blankets, but there are extra 5'x7' towels handy.

The only thing I can really complain about (I'm not complaining, I'm just saying if I were to complain, this would top the list) is that the air mattress slowly deflated during the night until my butt sank and I was more sitting than lying. It eventually becomes so uncomfortable that it would wake me up and I'd let most of the rest of the air out so I could support my body on the floor. This happened twice. It wasn't too bad: At the beginning of the night and at the end after I released the air, it was perfectly comfortable.

I thought of a great, mildly-inspiring metaphor:

If you want to go through a door, but you can't figure out how to unlock it, just start walking forward. You might find out that you were RoboCop all along and that you never needed to unlock the door in the first place.

Monday, November 30, 2009

First ever speeding ticket.

Thoughts on my recent trip:

My brother, his fiance and I road-tripped to Arizona to visit our extended family (happily, our immediate family, of which I am immensely fond, was also visiting our extended family at the same time).

We rented a 2009 Toyota Corolla and it was awesome! If nothing else, I am now reassured that I am not very spoiled when it comes to cars. Since the 1996 Intrepid that I normally drive is getting pretty decrepit, I feel like I spent a lot of time thinking things like "hey, the windshield wipers stop moving when I turn them off . . . splendid!" I have nothing but praise for the heat, the air conditioning, the hazard lights, the radio, the door locks, the windshield sprayers--it was pretty luxurious (all of those things are pretty flaky or completely non-functional on the Intrepid). The Intrepid also got me used to feeling like I was about to die when I got up to about 60 mph. In this car I felt safe at much higher speeds.

The cop said he had me going 92 mph in a 75 mph zone.

But it was hard to avoid! Normally, I'd just set the cruise control to 9 over the limit and go, but this car didn't have cruise control (weirdly). The visibility and road conditions were so good, I'd just start going and think "this feels like the right speed" and I'd look down and my speedometer would read 95 mph.

At one point, I was already going like 97 mph and I pushed it to 102 mph as an homage to my parents (this was a personal driving speed record for me).

(My parents took a roadtrip to Arizona before they started dating. Apparently my father tried to demonstrate to my mother that his car could travel 100 mph. It couldn't. The car broke down immediately and they were stranded in the desert for several hours.)

I found this great Honda minivan that was steadily speeding about the same amount as I meant to and I made him my pace-buddy (i.e. I followed him and let him determine our speed). I figured the cops couldn't catch us both for speeding. I never found out if the cops could catch us both for speeding because before we saw any cops, I decided that I had outgrown him and that we needed to part ways.

I may have been a little lonely (my car was quiet and my brother and his fiance were asleep) because passing my old pace-buddy was sad for me. I guess I hadn't realized how attached I was. If I had to pick a soundtrack, I'd pick "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Greenday for this part. It had been a great half-hour of highway driving, but like Icarus, I was giddy and over-confident.

Also, I didn't want him to think I had a crush on him.

The highway seemed a little more crowded as we approached Beaver, UT. I was going faster than almost everyone. I thought maybe I was just discovering that I was born with a gift for driving fast that others just don't have. I was never ashamed to be above-average in other regards, so I started to wonder if maybe it would be a shame--a waste even--for an exceptionally fast driver like me to slow down just to avoid attracting attention.

(I think the "gift" here might just be a lack of regard for the law, and an inadequate appreciation of one's own mortality, but anything that helps you get to your destination earlier is a gift in my book).

When I saw the cops pull out, my heart sank. I prayed that they weren't going to get me. I pulled into the right lane and slowed down a lot to act like I had been going a reasonable speed the whole time. They didn't fall for it.

They were nice enough, I guess. Normally, I resent the police a lot, but this interaction reminded me of the Looney Tunes Ralph and Sam. I think I may have even thanked them.

$165 is the fine. It doesn't seem bad until I think of $165 things that I would like to buy, but haven't because they're too expensive.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things in my head that made me laugh out loud recently

Some things are really funny to me. I worry they're not interesting to others (or too crude), so I have tucked them out of the way here on my blog:

A dream I had:

I was protecting some servers from hackers. Looking back with my conscious mind, my approach was a little bit elaborate: I intentionally left a series of clues for the hackers to find. The clues suggested that the only way to compromise my data security was to travel to a particular place and hang out for a while.

The place where I lured them had wooden benches sort of like a sauna except without the steam. I explained to someone that it's important that the hackers be relaxed. After playing some relaxing music, the hacker was lying on the bench with one foot up and one on the ground--just where I wanted him.

One of the wooden slats had been secretly rigged with pneumatics. When I gave the word, the slat flew up and hit the hacker in the crotch. I recall explaining to someone that the system was designed to hit him really, really hard.

I'm not sure why I didn't kill the hacker, or prosecute him, or do something else that would prevent him from stealing my data. I suspect it had something to do with the pure pleasure of interrupting his malicious, little siesta that way. If only more of our enemies were so gullible.