Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something unexpected

This is a little story I want to share with you all.

A couple months back, I was walking to Wendy's to buy myself a snack while the people at Best Buy installed a new radio into my car. On my way there, a man drove alongside me, rolled down his window, and said, "excuse, me, but do you know where Lowe's is?"
I stopped and apologized to the man, saying that I had no idea.
"Oh, okay," he said, "one more thing, though, I bought some food for a homeless guy around here, but when I came back he was gone. I've already had lunch. Do you want it?"
I blinked several times and took a step back. A complete stranger was offering me free food? Really? Was this a joke?
"It's not poisoned or anything," he said then offered me a McDonald's bag. "It's two double cheeseburgers and fries."
That voice from childhood lessons told me not to trust strangers, but there was honesty in the man's smile and eyes. It was a gut reaction, a natural instinct, which told me that this man was playing me straight.
I accepted his offer.
"Yes, thank you, sir."
"No problem. Take care now."
He drove away. I then looked for a place to sit down to eat. I opened the bag and saw that it contained exactly what the man had said. I ate the double cheeseburgers and fries and since I'm still alive, I think it is safe to assume that it was an honest gift from an honest stranger.

What was the most unexpected thing to ever happen to you?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little summer reading

I love old dime novels. They're like little time capsules that smell a little funky and have been chewed on by rats. These books you see here, for instance, were unearthed from my grandmother's attic. They're probably not as sophisticated as the books I read for my English classes last quarter, but how can I say no classics such as James Bond, Jules Verne, and a cover of Yul Brynner as a robot gunslinger?

How about you? Do you have anything special on your summer reading list?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Letter from the End of the World

Dear Jesus Christ,

I heard from some very reliable sources that you plan to make an appearance sometime today and bring about the Rapture. I'm sure you'll be very busy calling up all the people chosen to ascend to heaven and filling out all of the necessary paperwork, but I hope to take a few moments of your time to thank you for all you've done.

First of all, thank you for writing the Bible. Your death at the end was absolutely wonderful and moved me to tears. I'm not so sure about the following resurrection scene, though. A little too much deus ex machina, I think, but the rest of the book made up for that. Except for the book of Job. I think it could use a rewrite. Eliphaz seemed to lack depth and could use more characterization. But that's just me. Otherwise, great book and I look forward to the sequel.

The announcement of the coming revelations also made me wish I paid more attention in my math classes. Although you said in your book that "no man (including yourself) knows the hour or the day of the end," a gentlemen from Oakland pinpointed the exact date when you're making your big comeback by adding numbers and dates I've never even heard of! Very clever, sir. I hope that you include cliff notes in your sequel for those who are not mathematically savvy.

I also want to thank you for ending the world on a Saturday. Everyone would have been too busy on weekdays to experience the rapture, so having judgement day on a weekend is convenient for everyone's schedules. One question, though: will there be a barbecue before the ascension? If so, I would love to go at least for the food. I heard you're a real wizard at the grill.

If there is no barbecue, though, then I would have to respectfully decline your invitation to ascend into heaven (if I am one of the lucky chosen). It's not that I don't appreciate all that you've done, but I don't believe I would do well in heaven because I'm not a good Catholic. I may have gone to Sunday school, but I'm afraid that the teacher's lessons were wasted on me. I have felt anger towards my fellow man, I have desired to sleep with women, and I have used your dad's name in vain numerous times.

Besides, Mark Twain, another reliable source of mine, once told me that there is no humor in heaven: "Let us swear while we may, for in heaven it will not be allowed." Twain also informed me that: "Singing hymns and waving palm branches through all eternity is pretty when you hear about it in the pulpit, but it's as poor a way to put in valuable time as a body could contrive." I think, then, I would prefer hell because, as Twain puts it, "heaven for climate, and hell for society." I'm sure heaven has very pleasant air conditioning and lovely music, but, being a social animal, I would prefer to share a drink or two with Mark Twain, Freddy Mercury, and, if I'm lucky, William Blake.

So in conclusion, I want to thank you again for all of your hard work and I wish you the best of luck with the end of the world. I apologize again for not joining you and please know that it's nothing personal.

Have a happy judgement day,
David R. Matteri

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Whew! Well, midterms have come and gone and finals are just three weeks away. But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so my brothers and I started off the summer movie season by watching Thor last Sunday.

Like most big budget summer blockbusters, the visuals of Marvel's latest movie are absolutely stunning. From the aerial shots of magnificent Asgard to the rampaging automaton in the New Mexican town, the audience certainly gets their moneys worth of computer-generated delights (although I still wouldn't pay more to see it in 3D).

The most satisfying scene of the movie is when a girl points a taser at Thor. "You dare point such a puny weapon at me?" He demands, forgetting that Odin took away all his powers when he was banished from Asgard. The girl then pulls the trigger and the god of thunder goes down like a sack of bricks (oh, the irony!).

There's not much else to say about this movie. The action scenes are big and explosive, Loki runs around and lies to everyone because daddy didn't love him enough, Thor goes through a quest for redemption, and Stan Lee makes another cameo appearance. Sometimes looking for Stan the Man in Marvel movies has become more entertaining than the movie itself; it's like playing Where's Waldo, but with robots, superheroes, and explosions.

Some people thought of this movie as absolute garbage. Well, to be sure, it's not the next Godfather or Gone With the Wind. It was built to introduce the uninitiated to Thor and entice them to see the god of thunder again in the coming Avengers movie (you hear that? that's the sound of dollar signs flashing in the eyes of Hollywood producers). The acting is, admittedly, sort of bland and the plot kind of simple. I'm not sure why there is an Asian dude in the Norse pantheon. Oh, wait, that's right, they're not gods but space aliens. Got it.

My attitude coming into the theater was the same when I saw Suckerpunch. I was not expecting to be blown away by superb acting or a deep story; I wanted to see Thor hit things with his hammer. I find it hilarious when people come out of movies like this and complain that Hollywood ripped them off. Really? You are surprised? Did you not pay attention to the trailers? Perhaps you should have gone to the Cannes film festival or (gasp!) read the comics for better stories.

Next up on my summer movie list: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thoughts on the Royal Wedding

So Prince whats-his-face married Mrs. Who-ya-call-her over in jolly old England. Most of the English speaking world either flocked to London or turned on their TVs, radios, computers, or whatever to watch as this well-to-do couple tie the knot in what the media has touted as "a fairy tale wedding."

To be sure, the ceremony was impressive to watch. All the colorful uniforms, the pageantry, and the old WWII planes even made me a little teary-eyed for old Albion (you see that? I go to college and learn fancy words). But, as an American, I have no real interest in the lives of royalty from any country. It's like driving down a country road and spotting a cow chewing on grass. It's fun to look at, but I have more important things to worry about, like watching the road and not crashing into the big rig in front of me and become a paraplegic for the rest of my life.

I have nothing personal against Prince William and Miss Catherine Kate; I hope they have a happy life together. I just don't care what Kate was wearing or that William picked his nose when the cameras weren't on him.

How about you all? Did you watch the wedding? If so, what did you think of it?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter in San Francisco

My family and I attended Easter service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco today. Alan, my younger brother, was hired to play his trumpet for them and got a nice $430 check out of it (woo hoo!).

I didn't drive to San Francisco, oh no. I have sworn to never ever drive anywhere in that town. The streets are suicidally steep and the locals are just plain nutty. Fortunately, my mother lived in this city before and got us to the cathedral in one piece.

The cathedral was impressive. I kept looking around at the architecture throughout the ceremony like a gawky tourist, but this Missouri boy couldn't help himself. It was that impressive.

The ceremony itself was fine, but what I enjoyed the most was watching my brother playing with the small brass concert. He was the youngest out of the group of six musicians, which says a lot about his skills.

It's good to see Alan doing well with his music. He's still going to school and pursuing a music major. He hopes to one day play his music for movie soundtracks, particularly movies done by Pixar. I wish him the best of luck with his musical career.

Oh, and here's some pictures I took:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is TV really to blame?

A gentleman from Berkeley said to me that I "would be a better human being if I threw out my TV."

Sounds like a good idea, but I'm not totally convinced yet.

I agree that most TV shows nowadays lack creative substance and are designed to sell products rather than to entertain or enlighten, but that doesn't mean quality television doesn't exist. Shows like Dr. Who, House, and Community are a few examples of shows that are superbly written and poignant. And who can forget Star Trek: TNG and Tales from the Crypt from decades past?

And then there's the news. There are just too many so-called news programs out there that are more concerned with sensationalist drivel rather than reporting facts. It could be worse, I suppose. At least we still have newspapers (you remember those, right?).

So what do you all think?
Do you think that you would lead a happier life if you threw out your TV?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Protest and Survive(?)

Because governor Jerry Brown couldn't get his special election, the universities of the golden state face massive cuts to, well, everything. As a result, students and faculty have called for a state-wide walk out to protest the possible evisceration of higher education.

I didn't join my fellow students-in-arms to fight the man because I was at home, reading The Blithedale Romance and Howards End for my English classes.
You know, something called homework.

Did I want to spend my day waving signs and shouting?

No. I didn't believe it would have been a good use of my time.

I was turned off by the heavy atmosphere of fear and anger over the potential budget cuts. The battle cry for these protests was "get angry," but I didn't agree with this approach. People should get passionate about the things they care about, but getting angry doesn't help anyone.

A great Jedi master had something to say about fear and anger:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beer, Bowling, and Baseball

A friend of mine had his 25th birthday today. To celebrate, we got together at a bowling lane and had a couple of games. Some friends from his philosophy class came by as well and I had the pleasure of meeting them for the first time. We indulged in a pitcher of beer and a basket of french fries as we knocked down pins and had a few laughs (I stuck to water because I was a designated driver).

About an hour into our bowling session, we took a break so that our friend could open his presents. Now, it should be known that our group is a motley crew of gamers and geeks, so the gifts given to our friend were unconventional, to say the least. One present was a bar of chocolate bacon (or was it bacon-flavored chocolate?). I had a taste of this and found it very...odd. First, there was chocolate, warm and smokey moving down my tongue and then, when it hit the back of my throat, bam! Bacon (I'm still not sure if I liked it or not). Another present was a small, homemade straw figurine of Polynesian design. Evidently, it was a statue to a goddess of oral sex. Don't ask.

Soon after the gift giving, an announcement was made over the intercom: The co-owner of the bowling lane had died just a few hours ago. We were asked to stop bowling and have a moment of silence. All the noise in the building came to a slow halt. After several seconds of silence, they thanked us and asked us to continue bowling. The noise gradually returned as if an invisible hand were adjusting the volume of the world around us.

Finished with bowling, we got into our cars and drove to a nearby pub for dinner. The pub was packed with people watching the Giants play against the Cardinals on the wide screen TVs. Fortunately, we were able to find a table large enough to seat us. A pair of musicians were strumming guitars in the corner as we ate and drank more beer (ice tea, for me).
The band played Don McLean's American Pie.
The crowd sang along:

So bye, bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry

And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye

Singing this'll be the day that I die

This'll be the day that I die

While eating our meal, we watched the baseball game. It was the bottom of the ninth and the Giants had a man on first and second base. The Cardinals were leading, two to one. The batter for the Giants stepped up to the plate. He swung and popped the ball into the air down center field. A pair of catchers for the Cardinals were directly underneath it, ready to grab it. At first, it looked like they had caught it, but then an incredible thing happened.

The ball fell right out of their hands.

The Giants had won, three to two.

The crowd in the pub exploded with cheering and shouting. It was like an eruption of pure joy. Everyone was on their feet clapping, cheering, and laughing.

At the end of dinner, we sang the happy birthday song for our friend as he ate a slice of cheesecake. We then spent about half an hour just shooting the shit, catching up on old times and talking about whatever. Once we had our fill of food and conversation, we wished each other a good night and went our separate ways.

Driving home, I thought about how strange and wonderful life can be sometimes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Be One with the Shoes

There's something about shopping for a new pair of shoes that makes me groan and gnash my teeth. I think it has to do with the atmosphere.

Mellow, sleep-inducing music with a distinct country flavor filled my ears as I navigated the men's footwear aisle at Kohl's today. I examined boxes of Flias, Sketchers, Avias, Vans, and New Balance shoes, trying to decide which pair would fit me the best.

On the walls were portraits of handsome athletes playing basketball, jogging, or swimming. Other portraits have them just hanging out, smiling and laughing as if they heard the funniest joke in the world and had died laughing soon after the picture was taken.

Looking at these portraits, I was reminded of what an English professor once told me: "all things created by people are an argument."

Unfortunately, these portraits could not speak, but if they did they would say, "don't be satisfied with how you look. We are the ideal images of physical perfection and if you don't buy from this store then you won't be as good looking as us. You want to get laid, right?"

Another portrait, in the teen section, showed a group of young girls hanging out in the back of a car, taking a photograph of themselves. The focal point of the image was, of course, on the bright shoes they were wearing that matched their bubbly personalities. Argument: Our shoes are cool and your friends will like you better if you buy them. Your friendship is only as good as the shoes you wear, so buy, buy, buy! Repeat after me: Be one with the shoes. Be one with the shoes.

The pair of shoes I finally decided on were on sale. Hey, at least I saved some money.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And Suddenly...Goats.

Every Spring the city of Benicia hires out this gentleman to bring in his herd of goats and use them as all-natural lawn mowers. I took this picture of the goats from my backyard just before heading off to school. It was funny to watch them jump all over the branches of those trees.

This is a brilliant idea. Not only do they help prevent grass fires and keep the hills nice, but people love to bring their kids and watch them as they eat.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Late April Fool's Day

I have this love-hate relationship with April Fool's day.

On one hand, I love it because people can get really creative with their pranks and make me smile. I am not talking about immature high school pranks such as spray painting a giant penis on campus (still not impressed with that, class of '06). I'm talking about carefully crafted yarns that are ridiculous but believable. They draw you in because they are so over-the-top and make you wonder "is this for real?" But then it dawns on you that you've been had and (guess what?) been made a fool.

On the other hand, I hate the day because I always end up as the fool.

I suppose I'm just a gullible kind of guy. If I trust the person I'm talking to, then I am usually inclined to believe what he or she says. Sometimes people have gone too far and played some dirty tricks on me (which I will not get into), but for most of the time they do it in the spirit of good jest.

I once had a Spanish teacher who got me pretty good on April 1st. He showed me a picture of himself from a vacation in Florida. In the picture, he was standing on a street corner. Behind him was a street sign with his same last name. He told me that he got the city to name the street after him. "Wow," I said, "how did you do that?" He then smiled and admitted this wasn't true. Ha, ha. Nice one, Dr. G.

So here's a late toast to the Day of Fools. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back to School

I began my Spring classes at East Bay today. It was nice because after nearly two weeks of rainy, mucky weather the sun came out on a brilliant and cloudless day. It was good to see so much rainfall in a state that always needs more water, but now I'm sick of it and want to see sunlight again.

I am enrolled in "American Fiction to 1914," "The British Novel from 1914-1945," and a Taekwondo class. I was hoping to take an advanced English composition class as well, but the class is full and the professor will not be adding any more students. She apologized and said that this was because of all the cuts California universities have been facing.

If you are unaware, California is an expensive state to live in, but people aren't willing to pay higher taxes. So instead massive cuts are being made to things like higher education.

These cuts are real bogeymen for everyone at the university. While having lunch, I saw a flier for an upcoming poetry slam that is to express the frustration of staff and students. "Slam Poetry, not Students," was written in bold lettering across the top of the page. One of my professors even encouraged the class to mobilize against these cuts or else they will "destroy higher education."

Although I was disappointed that I didn't get the class I wanted, I don't believe that it's the end of higher education in California. Despite the recession and heavy times we've been going through, I'm certain that things will get better. Economies tend to bounce back after some stormy weather. Besides, as long as the student is willing, he or she will find a way to overcome whatever obstacles stand in their path; it makes earning that diploma all the sweeter.

Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic. Perhaps youthful naivety is clouding my judgment.

Nevertheless, I'd rather be optimistic because it's counterproductive to believe that the future only brings gloom and doom. Here's a song from one of my favorite heavy metal bands to further illustrate my point:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sucker Punched

So, I finally got to watch Suckerpunch. As promised, here's a little review of the film. Be warned, though, some spoilers are ahead.

Suckerpunch is essentially an escape story that is played out across three levels of consciousness: a mental institution (the real world), a brothel, and an extravagant fantasy realm where the heroine and her friends battle giant samurai, zombie soldiers, orcs, dragons, and robots while looking sexy and shooting lots of guns. To call this film a visual treat would be insufficient; it is a visual smorgasbord. However, the ridiculous, video game inspired action scenes are really just fantasies imagined by the heroine that act as visual metaphors. In reality, the girls use charm and seduction in order to outsmart their physically stronger oppressors and escape from the brothel/asylum.

One flaw of the movie is that it focuses too much on the two fantasy worlds and leaves us to guess what goes on in the real world. For example, the girls have to pilfer a cigarette lighter from one of the orderlies in the asylum to make their escape. In the brothel, the lighter is stolen from the visiting mayor while he is distracted by Babydoll's dancing. In the fantasy realm, the girls storm a castle, shoot up orcs with machine guns, kill a baby dragon and extract a pair of magic, fire-producing crystals from its innards. While the fantasy worlds are presented in lavish detail, we don't see how they actually got the lighter. I hope they didn't really cut the poor guy open and take out a vital organ or two.

In the fantasy realm, the girls are assisted by the "Wiseman," a kind of scruffy spirit guide who looks a whole lot like Jeremy Irons. I liked that character, but his background was never explained. He even shows up at the very end and helps one of the girls in the real world which made me go "what?" I would have liked to see more of him, but he was only there to give the girls their guns and point them in the right direction.

Although we see the girls as beautiful burlesque dancers, we must remember that in reality they are patients at a mental institute. Are the orderlies easily distracted by crazy girls in hospital gowns? Creepy. I think we are to assume that they cause distractions in more mundane ways that reveal less skin, but, sadly, it is not explained and we have to guess how they are able to to get away with stealing the things they need to escape.

Flaws aside, I still enjoyed watching this movie. My brothers and I did not buy our tickets expecting to see Oscar-worthy material. We expected the plot to be paper thin and the acting to be mediocre. We just wanted to check reality at the door and watch sexy girls shooting guns and we got what we payed for (so nyah, nyah, nyah, film critics). This is a film I will add to my list of guilty pleasures.

Some people say that watching Suckerpunch is like being sucker punched in a boxing match.

If that's the case, then I say, "thank you, ma'am, may I have another?"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Can I get that toddler to go, please?"

After rolling dice and role playing for eight hours straight, my friends and I took a break to get dinner at a nearby Wendy's. The place was pretty busy and there was only one guy working the register. I didn't mind waiting because I know what it's like to try your hardest to serve all the customers at once when your coworkers are nowhere to be found.

What bothered me, though, was what one of the customers did.

Standing ahead of me was a family of three: a mother, a father, and a girl who was probably four or five years old and wearing pajamas. The mother, who was carrying the toddler, sat her daughter on the counter next to the register.

I couldn't stop staring. Was this even sanitary? The girl was practically in her underwear and her mother just plopped her down as if they were lounging about at home! But that wasn't all. After placing their order, the mother picked up her daughter and moved aside. After placing my order, I looked to my left and saw the little girl sitting on the condiments table. While the mother was engaged in conversation with the father, the little girl was pulling out handful after handful of napkins from the dispenser with one hand and handling the paper ketchup cups with the other. At one point the girl put her mouth on one of the cups then put it back.

Now, I am in no way condemning the child's actions. She was a toddler and toddlers do stuff like that. What bothered me was the mother who allowed this to happen. A restaurant is not a day care center. If the child is acting like that, then go through the drive-through or eat at home rather than risk getting other people sick.

Am I overreacting or is it perfectly fine to let a small child put their saliva in the same cup as my ketchup?

Friday, March 25, 2011

In the Navy (and other things)

A friend of mine is going to join the navy. He will be catching a flight to Chicago on Monday to start basic training and, once he's done, they'll have him building bombs on an aircraft carrier somewhere. I am happy that he's found a career and I hope he's ready for such an intense job. You see, this friend of mine has graduated from high school many years ago and has yet to find his calling in life. He went to college for a short time to study to be an electrician, but lost interest and dropped out. After a couple years of doddering about, he spent several weeks at some kind of job training camp in Sacramento, but didn't seem to find anything that excited him. I don't really blame the guy's lethargy because he's had some black spots in his past. His dad died several years ago from a heart attack and his mom became an emotional wreck. I haven't seen his mom in a long time, but judging on what I hear she seems to be doing okay. This Saturday my other friends and I will be hanging out with him one last time before he goes off for training. We'll probably spend the whole day playing Dark Heresy, Dungeons and Dragons, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I hope he will enjoy himself and I wish him luck in the navy.

This wouldn't be the first time I've seen a friend go off to the navy. Back in high school, I knew a guy who joined and worked on a submarine in the Pacific. His parents threw him a going-away party and invited lots of people, including myself, to come over and wish him well. This guy was known for being weird and wacky, so I decided to buy him an appropriate gift. I went to the local Safeway and purchased some cheap action figures from their "toy" aisle (and when I say "aisle" I mean one lonely rack sitting between the canned foods and frozen TV dinners). On the day of the party, I handed this friend the wrapped gifts and said, "since you're going into the navy, I bought you some sea men." He looked at me funny and slowly unwrapped the presents as if he were afraid to find what was inside. His reaction was precious. His face lit up as if he were a little kid on Christmas day and thanked me profusely. I was surprised, to say the least. It was a gag gift, but he immediately opened the boxes and started to play with the action figures and their little plastic guns. It was as if those toys were the best thing to happen to him all day.

This post would have been a review/critique of Suckerpunch, but since the weather insisted to be wet and miserable, my brothers and I stayed home. I spent a good portion of the day running around Azeroth as my dwarf shaman while the rain pelted my bedroom window. Dinner was fish sandwiches and french fries from Wendy's.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just a little update

Since I've been gone for so long, I thought it would be appropriate to fill you in on what I've been up to over the last year instead of contributing to this digital diary.

My time has been consumed mostly by school work at Diablo Valley College and CSU East Bay, formerly known as Hayward. In the spring of '10 I became a journalist for the DVC newspaper and it was the most pleasurable and rewarding experience I've had since High School. I was able to write about many wonderful things, such as the ethnic storytelling festival, budget proposals for the English department, Finnish contemporary metal, and I even wrote about a local zombie walk for the paper's website (if you don't know what a zombie walk is then look it up. It's great fun if you're into hanging out with the living dead). Every time I picked up the latest copy of the Viking Herald and saw my name and words in print was like feeling electricity spiking up and down my spine. It was something else.

Looking back on my experience with the school newspaper, though, I find it strange that I had no problem writing for print, but was disgusted with my blog. Perhaps it is that "anything goes" nature of blogging that made me uneasy. With the paper I had editors who forced me to correct any mistakes I made and forced me to double and triple check all my sources before they sent the piece off to be printed. That kind of oversight made me feel more comfortable with my work because it was reviewed by others to make sure it wasn't total crap. Now that I'm back to the blog, though, I feel more relaxed without having words limits, deadlines, or needing permission to write about what I want. To be honest, I do miss the excitement that came with the job, the drafts, the revisions, and talking to people for my stories.

Although I enjoyed the work, the staff at the paper were...special. They were mostly kids right out of high school, so they walked and talked with this kind of youthful, know-it-all arrogance that got on my nerves sometimes. They were also best of friends with each other, but didn't seem to want to include me in their reindeer games. On the very last day of school, for instance, we had to clean the newsroom. One of the editors handed me some paper towels and windex and asked me to wipe down the computer desks. I did as he asked, but after a while I noticed that I was the only one cleaning. Everyone else was talking or playing flash games on the computers like it was social hour. I got so angry that I stopped cleaning and walked out, got in my car, and drove home. Did they aim to have me, the weird kid, do all the cleaning for them while they had a good time? Who knows. But despite their teenage shenanigans, they were still a talented group and I sincerely hope they do well in their future endeavors.

In the fall of the same year I transferred to East Bay and now I am about to start my third quarter. It's a nice campus that's not too different from DVC; it just comes with a bigger price tag. The school is particularly proud of their view and, I must admit, the view is pretty damn impressive. You can see San Francisco and most of the Bay Area from the campus. I'm looking forward to my next quarter. I only have to go two days a week, but most of my classes require a lot of reading and writing. For example, I'm taking "American Fiction to 1914," and I got seven books to read. Go ahead and call me weird, but I'm excited to read more Poe, Melville, Crane, and Chopin. The classics are awesome and better than most stuff on TV.

So that's all I have for now. Suckerpunch is coming out soon and I may watch it this weekend and I may write a review/critique. See you then.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh, my God! What is that...thing? It's disgusting! It's hideous! It' blog?!?

Let's see, last post was about...2009? Wow. It's certainly been a while, hasn't it?

I suppose an explanation of some kind is in order.
Simply put, I lost interest in blogging. The joy of sharing my thoughts with the world turned into revulsion. I doubted anyone cared about what I had to say. I doubted I had anything interesting to say. I saw this as a total waste of time and energy. I hated myself for even starting one. So I ignored it, hoping that this embarrassing secret would just crawl off into a dark corner somewhere and die. There were times when I thought, "hey, I could write about that" or "this is worth writing about," but doubt was always there telling me: "no one wants to read this crap!" So out of disgust and self-loathing I ignored my blog as if it carried the plague.

The other day, though, I experienced a kind of reawakening. My older brother and I were hanging out with our friends and playing Arkham Horror. We took a break from fighting the nightmares of H.P. Lovecraft to eat out at Long John Silver's. We climbed into my car and followed our friend's van until I, the driver, made a marvelous navigational error and got ourselves lost. We parked at a McDonald's and, rather than braving the mean streets of Vallejo again, my brother and I agreed to eat there instead.

We talked about our crafts as we ate. Mike wants to make money from drawing pictures, but so far no luck. We discussed ways of improving this situation, such as social networking and having a more active blog. We concluded that in order to get the jobs and the attention, he has to let the world know he exists. I then thought about my own blog, that disgusting creature creeping around my room at night and leaving its droppings for me to step in, and realized it had been a long time since I even looked at it. As we drove home through the rain, something grew in me. It started off small, but grew and grew until it was like a colossal weight in my mind that briefly distracted me from the road.

That something was the desire to write in my blog again.

To quote Stephan Crane:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"the fact has not created in me
a sense of obligation."

This blog may just be another drop in the vast ocean of blogs already rolling in the internet, the very act of writing gives me new confidence. Even now as I type this at 1:53 a.m., I feel like I am rediscovering that joy of writing I had found nearly two years ago and it feels good. I just hope that doubt doesn't sink its jagged teeth into me again.

So, time for a new mission statement.

From now on I promise to do my best to write as often as I can in this blog; I promise to see this as a tool to enhance my craft as a writer rather than a waste of time and space; and finally, I promise to not doubt myself and to write whatever is on my mind as long as I keep it tasteful and does not provoke anyone to track me down and shoot me. That would be bad.