"The Definition of Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results" - Albert Einstein

Friday, March 25, 2011

A New York Minute

Time flies here. A New York Minute is like a midwest hour. That's an official conversion, I looked it up.

We have been busy shoppers, walkers, art gallery tourists and theatre goers in the Hirsch family aver the past day and a half, and we are exhausted. And as much as I would like to go into tons and tons of detail about all of my excursions, I forgot my camera cord anyway, so there are no picture for the blog yet. That, in conjunction with that I only get free internet in the lobby of the hotel, I've decided I won't be posting until I get back home, at which time I will post lots of exciting pictures to accompany my less exciting words. I hope everyone is enjoying their Spring Break if they are on one, and expect more writing in the near future.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The City that Doesn't Sleep

Written from a writer that apparently doesn't either. Yup, you are reading this at 7:17 in the morning, I woke up at 6:13 am and I probably went to bed around 12:30 am so that's about 6 hours of sleep rounding up and I haven't had any coffee yet, so if there are more typos than usual in this post, don't be surprised.

However, considering I only woke up an hour ago and now I'm past check-in and security sitting at my gate, I have to hand it to CMH. My favorite airport.

Basically no snafus this trip (keep your fingers crossed) minus one incident at security where I took my laptop out of my bag but it still weighed 5 pounds because I brought along my Complete Beatles Songbook so that I could arrange sheet music which weighs about three pounds on its own and the TSA agent didn't believe me when I told him it was just a heavy music book so I had to show it to him. I think he was actually impressed.

We are about to board, so I'll stop, but more blog posts are to follow depending on internet capabilities. So stay tuned for updates from New York City!

Monday, March 14, 2011

1 Down, 4 to Go

So, I just got out of my English 553 final and now I'm in the basement of Denney Hall trying to recooperate by doing some mindless internet surfing. This isn't helped however by the fac that it is the Monday of finals week, so every freaking humanities major in probably the entire university is down here, and now I have to sit at a cubicle that isn't my normal cubicle. Listen other people, I'm in this computer lab atleast twice a week if not sometimes every day, so I should receive special consideration in using the computer with the two screen that is next to the wall, facing the door, but still within view of the printer. is that too much to ask? No. Because that cubicle and I have a bond, and I know exactly how I like to layout my desktop over there, and now I'm at a single monitor station with way less desk room so I have to put my folders on top of each other and my calendar in front of me on my lap and I don't like it. It is unacceptable. Also, I have to turn my head a full 90 degrees to the right in order to see the printer, and since I'm not hidden near the wall, every single person who walks in this lab makes eye contact with me because I am in that chair, and it is awkward whenever someone walks in who I don't know because then I'm looking at them, but it is also awkward whenever someone walks in who I do know because then I have to make awkward side chatter and pretend like I want to be talking to them even though I'm here in the computer lab trying to work on papers that I have due consecutively over the next three days. And since this is the English building, my odds for knowing or not knowing the person walking in are about 50/50.

So I just finished my first final, which went ok, and now I have 2 more papers to finished writing and edit, then one more paper to start completely and one more final. I can do this right?

I'm going home to get my laptop and then go to Buckeye Donuts where there is free wifi and coffee refills for only 60 cents.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Caffeine Caffeine Caffeine

I just wanted to pop in for a second to let people know that it is finals week, and I've been super busy, and I don't plan on being un-busy until Spring Break, which is 10 days from now.

The only thing separating me from glorious sleep, home cooked meals and a weekend excursion to NYC is:

A 2500 word paper on Big Fish
5-7 pages written on Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
3-5 pages comparing and contrasting the female action hero in Silence of the Lambs and Aliens
1 Writing Portfolio
2 Final Exams
2 Mandatory Staff Meetings
70 Handmade Door Decorations
2 April Bulletin Boards
20 Room Check Out Procedure Walk Through

That being said, I'm focusing on my actions and thoughts positively and to combat this, I've given up on drinking solely coffee, and am now drinking caffeine unexclusively in the forms of:

Black Coffee
Red Bull Energy Drink
Latte with extra shots of Espresso
Hot Tea
Iced Tea

I think part of why I'm writing this post is because I'm a little bit hyper off of some English Breakfast Tea I started drinking later than I probably should have this evening in attempts to work on my paper that is due on Friday Night about Jimmy Corrigan. I've written a page so far, so only 4 to go, and if I do say so myself it is really good stuff. I'm quite proud. I'm probably gonna stay up working on it until I collapse from exhaustion and then wake up and go to my 9:30 am class.

I really love finals week.

Sidenote: All concerned friends/family/random strangers who are reading this post and are concerned for my health, don't worry, I've looked up all the symptoms for too much caffeine intake, and I'm going to make sure I don't over due it. I promise not to die from too much caffeine. The finals may kill me, but I promise it won't be the coffee. (joking....laugh now)

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Don't Buy It

After spending close to an hour reading summaries and watching reviews for six or so films that came out in theatres this past week, one thing is clear to me: it is Oscar Slump Season. It always seems a giant shame to me that the always late bombardment of quality film making released at the end of the calendar year (in order to qualify for the Academy Award nominations) should be followed immediately by a two or three month period ripe with lack luster films until the Summer Blockbuster Season shines through. Perhaps this is due to “film burnout” among avid movie fans and home Oscar critics who just had their minds subsequently blown by watching Black Swan and then reblown by a third viewing of Inception. Perhaps people got tired of arguing whether or not The King’s Speech really deserved to win Best Picture over The Social Network, and they just wanted an excuse to go to the movies and not think very hard. Perhaps movies like The Adjustment Bureau really are the only things have to offer in theatres between March and June. I suspect these are all true in some respect, but frankly it doesn’t comfort me much as a bored viewer in the largest theatre of a suburban movie complex attached to a mall to be watching The Adjustment Bureau and trying to forgive how droll and outlandish it is based on Oscar Slump Season.

The Adjustment Bureau stars two of Hollywood’s top A-list actors: Academy Award winner and People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2007 Matt Damon, and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt, who incidentally, has never made a movie I didn’t at least enjoy her performance in. Although I certainly wouldn’t call the acting performances by the pair sub-par in this film, I have to admit, it seems even to me that the film duo was a bit bored. Damon is supposed to be a “Congressional Bad Boy” David Norris famous for being impulsive and getting in bar fights or mooning infused collegiate pranks, but mostly I just watched a relatively tame Damon try to stick to the grind and listen to what other people in the film told him to do in regards to his wardrobe, career, and choices in women. I wish I could have seen him do some actually bar fighting or mooning instead of just watching him reprise his role as Jason Bourne while running around Manhattan in the rain for the last third of the film. Blunt is certainly likeable as a female lead, and her acting is perfectly acceptable. I will say, her dancing is actually extraordinary in my opinion, and I found myself wanting to just watch her ballet performances rather than anything else in the film. Perhaps this was an intended effect, so that I would fall in love with her like Norris does, but it seems more likely to me that the rest of the movie is just droll, and her ballet work is the only remarkable work being done. The two have a decent amount of chemistry when they banter together in a bathroom or on a bus, but nothing to shout home about or compare to the likes of any Juliet and Romeo. It doesn’t help them either that the film includes what might possibly be the most boring sex montage I have ever seen on film, shot entirely from the shoulders up, in semi-slow motion with dissolve shots or the pair kissing in bed. If I wasn’t bored with the first half of the film already, I was definitely unimpressed with what should have been a romantic climax in the film (no pun intended).

However, the real problem with the film is its narrative. Loosely (and I mean very loosely) based off of Phillip K. Dick’s short story, “Adjustment Team,” the movie operates under the assumption that it is possible that the entire world can be monitored by “adjustments” in the form of spilling coffee, phone lines going dead, power going out, or even small changes in the way a person reasons. Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t have a problem with a little suspension of disbelief if this was where the film stopped in its explanation of how this movie is possible. The problem for me occurred when Director, Producer and Writer of the film George Nolfi attempted (without success I might add) to explain out some of the minutia of how this works, with the decision to basically throw his hands in the air and say, ‘God did it. Try to argue with that one skeptics.’ To which all I have to say is ‘Really George Nolfi? In a science fiction romance flick, your brilliant explanation for this entire company is that all of the members of the “team” are in fact angels, and this all powerful Chairman figure is in fact God?’ I don’t buy it. It is just too outlandish for me. I suppose it is important to say that as a movie watcher I’m almost always more in favor of ambiguity and unanswered questions rather than explanations, like for example how the loop of February 2nd is never explained in the film Groundhog Day. I actually find it much more interesting to consider what the film would be like if the bureau was itself a privately owned company, possibly alluding to some William Gibson-esque corporate-ocracy, or even just left completely unexplained. That would have been a cool film to see. But alas, Hollywood rarely listens to my opinions.

Granted, I’m being a bit harsh. The film wasn’t terrible, and it has a sappy, romantic ending that any couple could go and potentially enjoy for a “movie date.” But as a suggestion I’d try to go to a cheap theatre and follow up with some ice cream afterwards, just in case. I’ll give the film 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing to shout about really.