– The Origin Of Love –

I shared this the other day on Facebook, and now decided to share it here.  When I was going out with Candace this is a movie she made it clear that I HAD to watch, and I’m glad I did.  It’s probably the best depiction of the struggles that transgendered people face in today’s world.  If you haven’t checked it out before, I’d recommend you doing so.  It’s called Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

One of my earlier regrets that I mentioned before was not actually learning this song, I told her I didn’t think I would be able to.  But, really I’m re-considering it, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it down. 

Anyway I digress, enjoy the video and you should be hearing back again from me later today once I’m no longer obligated to remain in the college.

– Without A Cause, Without A Clue –

Isn’t it funny where inspiration comes from sometimes.  The most clear and precise concepts and ideas come to the human mind through the strangest sources.  Could be some random song on the radio, or just some cheesy line you overhear while waiting in line at the grocery store, but life never fails to provide inspiration and guidance, if only you keep your eyes, ears, and especially your mind open for it.

Dr. Tommy Fuller and Soon-To-Be-Father Roberto

For me, it happened at about 9am watching the third episode of Off The Map.  A guy being treated after a tree fell on him describes his life before he met his wife.  Of course he talks about being a player when he was young, and how he thought he had life figured out, but then when he got his wife he was saved.  The purpose of his story is to develop the doctor’s character who was treating him, (he is the player of the group)… in the talk he said a line in particular that stuck with me for some reason.

“All I did was surf and screw, you see I thought I was free, but I was aimless.  I used to be terrified of being tied down, but what I got in returned was so much better.  It’s amazing finding that person you want to give your whole life to.  Sydney, Sydney saved me, she gave me purpose, and I never even saw her coming.”  – Roberto

I know at least one person that is going to be reading this that is going to be incredibly pissed if I spoil what happens in the episode, so I’m going to stray a bit away from the specifics.  Let’s just say the scene depicted above spoke to me in a strange way.  When her said that he thought he was free but really he was aimless.  I guess it’s just something I didn’t sit down and contemplate before, especially last semester.

The freedom I experienced over the summer and into last semester was definitely intoxicated.  I mean, there was not a day that went by that I didn’t look back on what I used to have, but at the same time I was too caught up in what was going on to worry about it.  Meeting new friends, and new opportunities… I was probably the most liberated during this time than I have ever been.

Looking back at all this, I see that I too was Aimless.  I still am to an extent… sure I made big plans about keeping up my school work and getting in shape, so it looks as though my life has more direction now than ever before, but the truly tragic part in all of this is that I am still in mourning.  I’m in mourning for what I lost almost a decade ago, but aside from that… truthfully there is a part of me that can never deny that everything that I am working for is leading me to a specific goal that I want for my life.  The problem with this is that I see it more clearly than ever that once upon a time I already had this in my life, and I turned it away.  No I’m not only referring to a decade ago, I’m also including roughly 10 months ago as well.

Roberto & his tree, featuring Dr Fuller.
Roberto & his tree, featuring Dr Fuller.

I see everyone else that was in my life pairing, I see goals being obtained, I see happiness finally touching those that alluded it for far too long and it does bring joy to me to see that the people around me are finding what it is that they need to be happy, but I realize that had I only been more in touch with what was actually going on in my own head, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to find said happiness myself… Rod Stewart is singing my head right now… I wish that I knew what I know now… when I was younger.

The longer this life goes on the more examples I see that this phrase is probably the most applicable to my life.  Just when I think I have everything figured out, my own mind throws me a curve ball.  I guess I shouldn’t consider it to be a terrible thing, at least it’s never boring.

How am I going to be happy in life, if my definition of happiness is never clear, and the every time I get on the road to that happiness, I keep hitting the off ramp and going somewhere else.  Strange eh?  All of this came from a simple phrase, in a simple show…


On a lighter note, if you have not checked out the show “Off The Map” then I would recommend you give it a chance.  Especially if you are one of those people who liked ER, and Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s a really well put together Doctor-show, but it takes place in an unnamed jungle-scene far from the modern technology of urban hospitals.  It’s worth a look, and of all the new shows that I have watched in the last two weeks, a la  Bob’s Burgers, Episodes, The Cape, and No Ordinary Family. It is definitely the best show of the bunch.

– Avril Lavigne, What The Hell? –

The new single for Avril Lavigne’s upcoming album is aptly named, “What The Hell?” and it is by far the most fitting song title for the video that I just watched on VEVO.  First and foremost I want to get a little bit of a disclaimer here before I go too far into this entry.

I know exactly what a lot of you are thinking at the moment, and it involves a thought process where Avril Lavigne is such a terrible, phony artist that has no credibility whatsoever.  I mean she pretended to be a skater punk, she ripped off numerous songs, and there is nothing truly original about her. . . okay, did you manage to get that out of your system?

Avril Lavigne in What The Hell via Splash News.

Yes, I know she was introduced with that Skater image and as she grew as a woman who slowly became less and less predominant in her image.  Was she just a poser that was marketed right by the record label?  Even if she was I fail to see the issue.  It was a genius marketing gimmick that separated her from the pop divas at the time and gave her a real big head start on her career.  Isn’t it at least the tiniest part plausible that she simply just grew up?  I mean how many of you girls out there spent a lot of your childhood being against wearing dresses and being “feminine”.  My guess is that there is a lot of you out there that either lived this way herself or knew someone who did.  Just as I say that I’m confident that as you/your friend got older there became more instances where a dress was preferred and being “a very beautiful girl” was something you longed for.  How do we know this wasn’t the case with Avril?… anyway.

She pretty much tanked at live shows when she started, I remember seeing her on one of the late night shows performing Complicated and I was thinking to myself, “this girl is going nowhere”.  But, fortunately for her, the gimmick of the skater punk kept her on the charts long enough for her to learn how to sing live, and now she is actually a pretty good artists.

I’m not gonna vouch for her saying she’s anywhere near my top 10 favorite artists, but I refuse to be a sheep among the herd and berate the poor girl because of societies ignorance.  Now that the ranting about her in particular is done, let’s get to the content I wanted to write about.

“What the Hell?” the new music video by Avril.  If you have not checked it out yet, then by all means scroll to the bottom and click the box.  Watch this video and remember who we are talking about.  If you forget Avril’s early days just go and watch the Skater Boy video afterwards.  Wow, what a transformation.

Okay, actually you know what. Let me get something else out-of-the-way.  Avril Lagvine is incredibly hot in this video.  She may not be everyone’s type but the opening scene in the bed with just her undies shows that Avril has come a long way, not only in the musical department, but in her physical prowess.  She has become a bombshell, with newly defined curves (something that was lacking on her body originally) … in essence I couldn’t avoid mentioning it because I know this is what is going to catch your eye.

This girl is all grown up now, and although I wont spend too much of my day defending her, I think anyone that is going to blindly take a look at her career, even this video in particular and dismiss it as pop culture, mainstream fluff, is narrow-minded and acting more like a follower then the drones that listening to whatever MTV tells them to.

I guess the Mainstream trend of hating mainstream in itself is a blog that needs to be written at some point, but right now I’m just going to stick to Avril.

On the surface this song is pretty forgettable, other than seeing Avril in her bra and panties, there really isn’t anything that sticks out about this video.  However, looking at it carefully, listening to the lyrics, and trying to grasp the concept of the video (even if the director did not do a very good job portraying it)

Avril Lavigne in What The Hell via Splash news

The video is just a juvenile attempt at showing rebelliousness, it fails.  However, if you look past the fail you get the message of this song and video.  Avril is not growing up anymore.. she’s grown.  She boasts that she is tired of doing what is expected of her and what she is told to do and she wants to have some fun.  She’s an adult and should be capable to do that.  The song is not overly catchy, and only moderately well written.

I highly doubt that this is going to be a part of her greatest hits 10 years from now, but looking at it as a musician it’s pretty clear that the sentiment to the song actually means something to her.  It goes to show you don’t need to be brooding or angry to express that you are tired of the norm and want to change.

All in all, I just had to write this because as I mentioned earlier this is the furthest thing I expected to come from Avril.  Maybe it’s due in part to the fact that I still somewhat have the image of the little skater girl in my head and even though videos like Don’t Tell Me, and even Girlfriend, show that she is growing and being increasingly sexually stimulating in her work, I think it never sunk in until I saw her in her unmentionables telling her boyfriend,

“You say that I’m messing with your head, all because I was making out with your friend.”

Okay, it’s time to take a brief moment for all the women reading this to get the chant of “SLUT! SKANK! HOE!” out of their system, and time for the guys to recover themselves after the thought of Avril being easy.. if you need a towel please do so at this time.



So like I said.  Avril’s new sound doesn’t really echo anything that we didn’t already see a million times, what makes this song justified in talking about is that it is Avril Lavigne, (I guess that leaves the argument that if the song was sung by an unknown it wouldn’t have the same impact… does that mean the song itself isn’t all that important as much as who sings it is?.. anyway, that’s another blog.)

Just to end this little talk, I actually had a realization about half way through this entry that I am pretty sure the reason why this song did kind of speak to me, besides the obvious throw to Avril’s appearance, is because the attitude publicized in the song is somewhat the outlook I have had on things for quite some time now.  I spent too long doing what others expected of me… I was a shrink for everyone which led me to go crazy,  I went to university right out of high school like mom wanted, which ended up with me being a drop out… historically I’ve come across nothing but tragedy when I did what was expected of me, if it was for the wrong reasons.

The only real peace I found was when I started doing the things I needed to do to better my own life, and then see if I can help others out in the spare time. That’s what this song is about, doing whats right for you, not making any excuses and living your life.

I can only imagine the flack that I may receive from the musically inclined friends that I have that are of the impression that if something is mainstream it’s crap and serves no purpose, and if it isn’t obscure you are just NOT THAT INTO MUSIC.


Anyway, check it out.  My verbal diarrhea has been satisfied for this evening.

– Video games as an art form. –

Logo For Extra Credits taken from their website.

I have been on this earth for 25 years now, beginning my 26th in October.  There have been an incredible amount of variation in the interests that I have taken over the years.  Learning to play guitar, researching the business side of Pro Wrestling (NOT just watching it every week), hell I even watched shows like Barney well into my teens just to come to some conclusion as to what makes good children’s television vs what makes it bad.


The music comes and goes for me.  I never lose interest completely but sometimes my heart just isn’t in it.  The gritty underbelly of what makes Professional Wrestling tick still seems profound to me but in the end it has been buried to the deeper recesses of my mind.  There really is only one true interest that has stuck with me through my entire life and still stays prominent today.

I am a Gamer.  – Sure, a couple of years ago I sold my Wii (because someone actually gave me 500 bucks for it) and I was console-less for almost two years, but Gaming has always been at the core of my being.  When I’m upset, angry, happy, I can always turn to the appropriate game to nurse that emotion and channel it.  The reason why I’m deciding to write about it now is simply due to the fact that I actually have discovered the perfect description for what I think video games can be, and strive to be.

It’s an art form.  No different from that of a television show, movie production, or musical album.  I wish that I could say that I came to this label on my own but that would be immoral.  This perspective on the gaming industry was actually given to me when I stumbled across an online weekly show analyzing the industry on the whole.  Some of you that I know of are familiar with Zero Punctuation, the video game review show on The Escapist Magazine’s website…

Giant NES controller developed by Kyle Downes

Well one day after watching the new episode of Nostalgia Critic, Zero Punctuation, and some videos on Cinemassacre.com, I decided to see what else Escapist had to offer since I noticed the week before that they house a number of different series of videos.  I came across Movie Bob, and more importantly, Extra Credits

Seriously, I need to give a special mention to these guys.  This is a show developed by three people, Join James Portnow, Daniel Floyd and Allison Theus.  Every week a new aspect of gaming in discussed in detail.  They talk about everything from Controversy, to Piracy, to an analysis of the term “Gamer” itself.  Here is the real treat that I find in this series.  The mandate that they put forward with each and every new episode is that the video game community(Consumers, Developers, and those in the media) needs to make some changes in how we behave and the decisions that we make.  If we play our cards right, then video games may one day become recognized as the art form that it is.

When people think video games, they generally group it together with children’s toys.  The tendency to play video games is supposed to be something that you grow out of over time.  I guess the real reason why looking at video games as an art form really speaks to me is because when I was growing up and I went through a rough patch both mentally and socially, instead of getting down to the problems I was actually having.  My parents would rant and rave about how they regret ever buying me that Nintendo Entertainment System.  It was, and I quote, “The single worst decision” they ever made as parents.

Dad even decided one day to come downstairs and video tape me playing Iron Sword back when I was like 9 years old.  The tape goes on for a solid 10 minutes of me standing 4 feet in front of the television with the NES controller in hand, sound effects blaring from the television.  The only movement out of me was the occasional nose-pick, and the mashing of buttons when I found myself fighting an enemy.

In my teen years my mom would look back on this tape and be horrified that she didn’t stop me right then and there, but “at the time it seemed so harmless” years later all the problems that I developed through the natural progression of living my life was always circumvented down to those “stupid video games.”

The thing is if you were to really look at the potential in video games when it comes to aspects like story telling, or even education. Gaming is a mostly untapped resource, or at the very least is light years from reaching its potential. The contemporary productions that are being released in recent years have taken the industry that much further.

Even some sub-par games can have merit, I mean in high school I knew more than just about all of my classmates about some historical figures. Why?

Because I read a lot of books?… well I did, but no that isn’t it.
I certainly must have seen a movie about them?… nope, wrong yet again.
Okay a tv show?… incorrect.

I knew about historical figures like Ludwig Von Beethoven and Joan of Arc when I was bit a mere child, by playing Mario’s Time Machine for the Super Nintendo. This sounds a bit absurd, but this is just an example of the comparison that you can use to categorize gaming on some level with television, movies, and literature. I tell you I knew something, and instinctively, books and film become the culprit for educating me. Instead, it was a video game.

Games don’t need to be educational to be deemed art. Anything that has the ability to get you thinking about a topic, or something that you can just get lost in visually is my definition of art.

Cover of Gamecube's Eternal Darkness released in 2002

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem for the Nintendo GameCube is an example of a game that garners a lot of talk after its release, it is usually one of the first games mentioned when game reviewers talk about Hidden Gems (games that were amazing for their systems but no one really bought them) for the GameCube. I was very fortunate when I was in university.  I purchased a GameCube strictly to play Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, and this game was at EB Games for a pretty cheap price.  It looked interesting so I picked it up, and truthfully I held onto my GameCube for ages simply for this game.  It’s a dark, yet insightful dive into the madness that plagues a bloodline over different generations.  Ancient deities and tragedy striking at every turn.  As the title hints at, you spend a lot of the game in between flashbacks wandering around a large mansion losing your mind.  Hallucinations, and monsters pop out of no where, but in a tasteful, suspense building method.  It isn’t a game that tries to scare you by just jump-tactics (when loud noises or quick visual effects are used to make you jump)  It builds up the discomfort over time.  I lost myself in this game and when someone wants to discuss the legitimacy of video games I will continue to used Eternal Darkness as an example.  To me it was indeed a work of art that took me to an entirely new plateau of reasoning.

Kudos to the Game Designers of this one.

I didn’t learn anything specific about it per-se, but just the immersion that it succeeded in me is enough for me to call it art.

Thanks to Extra Credits, I know now exactly the words to describe how I felt about gaming for all these years.  Games are not childhood toys, nor do they have to be any more of a waste of time then your standard Hollywood movie or Stephen King Novel.  Video games deserve their place as a protected medium of artistic expression, and through solid decisions from game designers and some key changes in the mindset of the consumers I think that the mission of Extra Credits is something that is unquestionably possible to accomplish.

This entry may not appeal to those of you that also stop in and read my rantings, but ever since the concept of video games actually being a recognized art form got into my head, it really is something that I want to do everything possible to support.  This entry would be the first step, when I figure out what the second one is I’ll let you know.

For now, I am just going to say that if you are a gamer and you are reading this, agreeing with all that I said.  I want you to finish reading this entry and then follow the link above or Click Here, to view Extra Credits home on Escapist Magazine, because frankly they say this a whole lot better than I do.  The team is a lot more familiar with where the industry is right now, and where it can go in the future if we all do our part.  Video Games may not be an endangered species but if we are going to make them be a viable, respected medium there is a lot of work to be done.

This isn’t asking you to sit through a boring discussion, and struggle to stay awake.  The information presented in their videos is done so with accuracy but also a hint of humor.  Especially the artwork by Allison.  Even if you are just a casual gamer, or you are new to gaming you are going to be able to watch these videos and walk away with a newfound understanding as well as a better appreciation for the world of Video Games.

So what are you waiting for, go check them out.
Extra Credits

– It’s Oscar Time! A New Undertaking. –

The Oscars by Harwenzhang @ Deviantart.com

The biggest night in the film industry is upon us ladies and gentlemen.  Are you as pumped as I am? … well if you have a pulse you probably are.  I am not one to get overly excited for Oscar night.  However I think this time around I am going to take a different approach.  I’m going to channel the inner journalist that I have recently discovered within me and I’m going to pretend like my opinion is something that people actually hold dear.

If you are anything like me then it is entirely possible that you have absolutely no idea who is nominated for what award.  Hell at the time I am writing this I still don’t actually know what movies are up for what awards, but I assure you that the next time I write about the Oscars here, it will be after I completed my next little undertaking.

That’s right, I am going to follow up my Big Bang Theory & my Glee reviews by sitting down over the next few weeks and watch every individual movie that is nominated for the major awards, and then I will complete an entry for what movie I would vote for, as well as try to predict what movie will actually take the honors.

… Okay so I’m watching the nominees now, which can be found at http://oscar.go.com

There is going to be a LOT of movie watching in my future.  I’ve seen a bunch of the frequent nominees and I am not going to dive into the foreign films and lesser reknown categories.  However watching this nominee list I see that in the near future I am going to have to sit down and watch a fair number of movies.

Black Swan
True Grit
The Fighter
127 Hours
The King’s Speech
The Kids Are Alright
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Winter’s Bone
Rabbit Hole
Blue Valentine
Animal Kingdom
How To Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
and I’m going to be checking out Biutiful, which I am going to watch simply for John Winches… err I mean  Javier Bardem.

Anyway, I put the movies that I have already seen in Bold, as you can see this is going to require some man hours to be dedicated to the cause.  Here I go again.  Lots of movie nights coming in my near future, only 30 days remaining until the Oscars.

– There’s Nothing Easy About Letting Go –

This is by far going to be the hardest entry I have made in this blog to date.  I know I may have danced around this topic before and gave throwbacks to my past to explain my insight but so close to the 22nd, I am going to struggle to write this.  I think however though this needs to be done, not for my journalistic aspirations but simply for my sanity.  This blog experiment did originally start-up as a quasi-therapeutic outlet for all the ramblings in my mind.

The Official Movie Poster

I’ve come across some clichés and tactics that I want to dive into when it comes to helping someone deal with death… as I said, not an easy topic. Bare in mind that anything I write in this entry is strictly subjective to my own experiences.  There is no true way to help someone through a hard time the truth is it varies from person to person.  Tactics that would work on someone can be ineffective on someone else.  Sometimes they want to talk about it, sometimes they want to be distracted…. sometimes they will only talk to people who are very close, other times it is the people who are close that will bring up old wounds so the preference is to talk to familiar, yet not so close people.  Sometimes they are spiteful for everything that has happened, other times they are guilty and feel at fault.

There are way too many psychological aspects that it would take days to write them all out, so once again I’m sticking to the general.

First and foremost I want to ask you a question.  Yes you, the reader.
Have you seen the movie “Reign Over Me”?

If you answered no to that statement then I want you to leave this website for the moment and go to a video store, or log into netflix, or even hit up a torrents site and get this movie and watch it.  I have never seen a better portrayal of someone truly hurting from a tragic loss than this movie.  It is one of my favorite Adam Sandler movies, it showed that he doesn’t always have to be the bumbling goof… okay.  Go watch it.

If you seen it before, or you’re cheating and pretend like you did.  I will fill you in on the plot. The movie stars Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler.  Cheadles character is a doctor that went to college with Sandler but they didn’t remain close.  One day Cheadle runs into Sandler and wants to catch up.  Sandler is a very disconnected from the world, it turns out he is suffering for a very severe case of Post Traumatic Stress disorder.  His wife and kids were on one of the planes that crashed into the twin towers on 9/11.  The entire movie is essentially dedicated to Sandler coping with the loss of his family and Cheadle trying to help him out.

I bring this up because as I said it is probably the truest depiction of a grief I have ever seen on film, and honestly when I watched it and saw the scene below I felt every stinging word.  Even now the scene is hard to watch because psychologically I feel the emotion, but all I imagine is my loss, and how I had to come to terms with that.  Sandler does an incredible job of tapping into the loss that I still harbor in myself that it is tough for me to not give high praise to this movie.  As I said, one of his best roles.

When you lose someone, especially someone who is really close to you, you feel alone.  Simply put. If I had to describe the emptiness that comes with this grief in one word it would definitely be loneliness.  After my ordeal almost 9 years ago now, I didn’t want to be in any kind of social circle, and the times I was in public I was surrounded by people but I was completely alone.  So lesson number one if you find yourself trying to help a friend through such a problem is, find a way to fill that void.

If they lost someone they really care about, there is an empty part of them that is going to continually consume them from the inside out, and it is your job to make sure that you minimize the loneliness that they feel.  For me? I had people who were there for me, but it’s very tough for anyone to really cure the lonely feeling.

The next lesson, is essentially a line I think everyone should stay away from.  It is a very common device for helping someone through a trying time but for death it really does not aid in any way.  “It’ll all be fine” or “It’ll hurt for now, you’ll be better with time”…  I have heard this line over.. and over.. and over.  I feels like you’re reading from a fortune cookie.  Truthfully, I know that it is common to get through someones passing and eventually it will get better most of the time… but it’s not something that I think needs to be said.

Adam Sandler & Don Cheadle in Reign Over Me

Sometimes it isn’t even true.  Look at me, I’ve been going strong for almost a decade later, and I still get completely frozen from most social interaction when her birthday comes around.  I’ve hard girlfriends since then, in fact I’ve loved since her… but that doesn’t mean that it actually got easier over time… the only ease that came to me was that it is getting easier to distract myself.  Even if it is just a casual friend that past and you know the grieving friend will eventually get over it.. stay away from the “everything is going to be okay”

I can’t keep this up though, I mean there really isn’t any advice that someone can give on dealing with a friend who’s going through something that profound.  It’s one of the worst feelings imaginable, especially when it is someone who you love.

I tried turning this post into a semi-objective piece giving some insight into the psychology of grief, but in case you haven’t actually picked up on it.  I just ended up rambling about my own problem.  So I’m going to end this with what I’ve learned.  It is going to sound clichéd, but it truly is how I get through my days.

It’s very easy to get completely caught up in remorse.  I spent 5 years thinking that what happened was my fault for the most absurd reason.  When I tell people my story it is painfully clear that I did everything I could for the benefit of everyone else BUT me.  I find my sanity when I do look in a mirror and see the influence that she had me.  I see the person I am, and I thank her for everything she has done.

I don’t mourn her death, I remember and I celebrate her life.  That does get difficult at times but it is a much more positive outlook.  It does make me wish that I believed in the Christian afterlife, because I know she’d be there waiting for me, but alas I don’t.  This world was denied an extraordinary individual way too early in life.  I watch Reign Over Me and I can only imagine what I would’ve ended up if only I had some more years with her, maybe a family.. and then imagine losing her…  I truly believe that I would end up in the same way.

I know this entry is a bit off the beaten path from my regular work, but this entry is more for me.  Once upon a time this would’ve been scribbled on an exercise book and then tossed away never to be seen.  I needed to say everything here in a public forum, maybe it’ll do someone else some good to hear this story.  One day I will go into the details and everything, but that’s not a story ready to be told.

A real entry will be up soon but for now, thanks for bearing with me while I lose my mind you’re a lovely crowd.

This is the scene where Adam Sandler’s character finally breaks down and talks about his family for the first time in the movie.  Liv Tyler plays his psychologist that has continually failed at getting him to open up.  So, he decides to finally open up to Don Cheadle.  One of my favorite performances by Adam Sandler in any scene of any movie.

Did I happen to mention yet that you should watch this movie??

– The Verdict Is… –

I’m a little surprised at how many inquiries I’ve received today from classmates and instructors alike about my immediate future with the College of the North Atlantic.  I’ve heard the line, “You’re still here?!?” three times today.  So I guess I should get to the point eh?

Well, Yes I am still a student of CNA.  My first major obstacle of this recovery semester has been laid to rest.  I’m on my last life, but I am still here.  I should consider this to be a victory eh?  Well truthfully I don’t know how much my influence had on the decision but the bottom line is that I”m still here I guess. Now it’s time to address the real issue at hand…  can I pull this off.

I am not permitted to slip up anymore, but as much as I assure the powers-that-be that I am fully rehabilitated and I am completely past my personal issues, that is a bold-faced lie.  I just need to do a better job at being a rock and not letting it interfere with academics anymore.

Saturday was her birthday and I still can’t stop thinking about her, every attempt I’ve made to go forward as been met with a brick wall.  All the roads I’ve trying to get past her ends up looping back around and I end up where I started.  Truth be told, I will fight to stay here.. but I’m already psychologically half way gone.  I am losing confidence that I’ll be able to keep my sanity long enough to finish this program.

Although on a positive note.. well sort’ve.  Last night we gathered at Clancy’s Pub.  The first time we successfully got both Lorne and Fred to accompany us at the same time.  Fred was my instructor, and Lorne is Johnny’s.  The reason I bring this up is because I was watching Kim strum away at open mic.  It brought me back to 3 years ago when I started hosting.  Even though she was only playing for 9 people, 6 of which was my group.

I missed the days when going to Clancy’s was prompted by a welcoming acknowledgment from the staff, and when people enjoyed hearing me play, long before the novelty wore off and it was just business as usual.  I felt like getting up and playing with newfound vigor, until I remembered the feeling of last time I played.  With that memory, my logical mind took over and I decided to just stay silent.

I’m far from being of a sound mind to persevere in the face of adversity, although I guess if you really want to look at it the argument can be made that this will just make my success all the more satisfying.  To overcome challenges when you are far from 100% is something to be proud.  So, in essence, I guess my shaking mental psyche can be a blessing because it will just add that much more validity to the fact that I deserve the diploma I intend on receiving in April.

Anyway, rest assured Journ kids.. I’m still around.  They will not get rid of me that easily.  So I’ll see you around.

– Mystery Breeds Interest: The Rubik’s Magic-

First class of the day was cancelled due to the grotesque weather outside my window.  It would be a treat of the rest of the day was some free time off, but I guess that is still yet to be seen.  I have 45 minutes before next class, hopefully it’ll be cancelled too.  But I am still a student of CNA for the moment anyway, the meeting is later today… wish me luck.

I’m writing here because of something I noticed.  As human beings I notice that we are fascinated by what we do not truly understand.  A whiz kid that can crunch paragraph long equations in his head without the aid of any technological assistance would floor us, even though it seems easy to him.  The child prodigy that picks up a guitar for the first time ever and bangs out a sick solo that would put Jimi Hendrix to shame will have us chatting for days… and yet to him it’s just natural.

My Rubik's cube sitting on my computer desk at 9:35am

Here it is, this is the inspiration to this entry. The brainchild of the Hungarian entrepreneur Ernő Rubik.  This simple, yet perplexing contraption.  As a kid I played with these things all the time and always thought that I would one day stumble across a way to solve it.  Alas, that did not happen.  The Rubik’s cube is something that has always piqued my interest, because it struck me as a very complex puzzle to which if someone could solve it they would be considered of above average intelligence.

When I heard stories of people solving these things I never truly believed them.  I assumed they either took it apart and put it back together the right way, removed stickers, or just bought a new one and never really messed it up beyond what they could fix.  It baffled me when I would see people doing it on television or on YouTube.  But the thought of learning how to do it myself never really was a thought.  I never fathomed it could happen.

Then something very random happened.  I was in the computer lab at the college waiting for class to start and I stumbled across a video that shows how to solve a Rubik’s cube by just repeating two moves over and over again.  It completely floored me, and instantly I headed to Wal-Mart with two classmates and purchased a cube to try it.

After careful deliberation and about 2 hours of repeating the same move over and over again it became painfully clear that I just wasted two hours of my life for no reason.  It was a frustrating conclusion… but an epiphany came to me.  There are a lot of people in this world that actually have the ability to solve this cube.  I would consider myself to be of an above average intelligence, my comprehension skill when it comes to math or language is pretty up there.  So maybe… I could learn how to solve one.


The same Rubik's cube... at 9:38am in my hand.

It actually didn’t take very long at all.  There is about 9 algorithms that one must learn to solve the cube.  Once you understand what each algorithm does, you will know when to use what one.


It was not even 24 hours after the purchase of the cube that I was able to solve it without the aid of the algorithms.  I remembered them, and now I am actually able to solve the cube within approximately 5 minutes.  This is a skill I would not mind demonstrated for anyone that does not believe this to be true…  although I am also aware that the people reading this that already know how to solve this puzzle for themselves are probably thinking… this is NOT that big of an accomplishment.  Well to me it is.

That’s what I meant by mystery breeds interest.  I was intrigued by the Rubik’s cube since I was a kid, but not because of the enjoyment of moving the pieces around, or because it was colorful.. it was a symbol.  It was a very difficult puzzle that I could not wrap my head around, and I would psychologically be astonished by someone who could do it on command… imagine placing his kind of status on a puzzle that took me no more than a day to truly figure out.

So I guess the moral of this story is that as intriguing as something is because of how complex it may seem to you.  Sometimes its the mystery behind it that prompts that interest.  In the end the cube was actually not that difficult of an idea to grasp, and I’m beginning to think that the same kind discovery can be found in a lot of things that fascinated me, at least the things that I didn’t bother trying to figure out.

Is it really a bad thing?  I wouldn’t say so.  It’s a little like believing in Santa Claus…  once you realize that it is just your mom or dad putting gifts under the tree the magic is gone.  For me, the cube has gone the way of Santa Claus, it has lost its magic.  But just like the tradition of old St. Nick lives on by keeping up the facade when it is time for your own kids to start celebrating Christmas….  I’m sure that one of these days it is possible some kid will see me with my cube, and have the same fascination that I did when I first saw someone solve it…

Wow, did I really compare Santa Claus to a Rubik’s cube?  Yeah, it’s time to try to go to CNA for class. Hopefully, this isn’t the last day I”m going to say that. Later.

– If This Is It: A Farewell To Education –

It’s 4:00am and I just can’t sleep.  I know this blog usually deals with some kind of insight into some aspect of life or some kind of advice I want to bestow upon my you, the reader.  Lately I have been branching off into more Journalistic pieces like the review of Big Bang Theory and the opinion piece of Cameron’s dive into the Mariana Trench.

But I can’t help but write this blog entry as if it were a page in a personal journal.  This is a throw back to the original purpose of blog’s and what made them so popular in their infancy.  Before the days of Perez Hilton and citizen journalists blogs were essentially an online diary and it is through that approach that I write this entry.

There is a very real possibility that tomorrow afternoon will be my final days in the journalism program.  I may very well be leaving the course.  It’s important to me to get this entry out while I am still technically a student of the College of the North Atlantic.  If the worst happens and I am no longer enrolled this time tomorrow then this night will be my last night spent as a student for the rest of my life.

Do you want to know what the worst part about this really is though? Not that I may not be able to finish the course when I only have a few months left to completion.  The true tragedy that is giving me this insomnia is that I am finally feeling the repercussions of my early life.  The last three semesters and my time in Grenfell is finally coming back to bite me in the ass…. but I am getting the consequences long after the lesson was learned.

I missed classes this week.  January 22nd would have been the birthday of one of the most important people who have ever touched my life.  It would have been her birthday if she didn’t pass away almost a decade ago.  This time is always rough for me, and I don’t feel overly social.  I stayed home, but I did stay on top of my work.  I will be ready to present my story on Tuesday on time.  I didn’t miss any deadlines or due dates… I didn’t mouth off to an instructor… in fact, I did near 100% of the editing for a class project that I am not sure if it was even seen yet.

Tomorrow at 1:30pm I have a meeting with the campus administrator Chris Dohaney, Frank himself, and Nadine the counsellor to “discuss my conduct in the program”… a.k.a.  CNA wants me to tell them why exactly I should stay in the course.  I feel like I wasn’t even given the chance to fall this time around. Nothing has been due yet, I have been working on my projects, and yet this meeting exists because we were coming ever closer to the birthday of the first girl I ever loved and the first person I ever had to say goodbye too… she was way too young to pass away….*sigh*

I planned on using this semester to finally make the right impression on my instructors.  The impression based on my ability and competence to complete this course and excel throughout.  It is crushing me that at the moment it would seem that I am not even going to get an opportunity to do so because of classes that were missed.  I understand that given my history they have grounds to do this even this early in the semester, but, I always thought I would’ve had a shot at proving myself.

Anyway, if this really is my last night as a student than I want to say a few things.  First goes to our former instructor, Fred Campbell.  I want to thank him for everything he’s done for me in the course and I stand by statements made earlier that if not for Fred I would not have lasted this long.  Things were rough last year and he helped me through it without treating me like a child.  I know there are some of you that would cast doubt on his methods, but I still stand by my belief that although Frank taught us and significant amount more about technique and grammar, I think Fred taught me a lot more about social interaction and just in life in general.  Skills that I know would help garner employment in the field.

The current second year class, You guys just got a few months left.  Keep your heads up and just get through it.  You survived this long, no sense giving up now.

To the first years… well.  I’ve made some friends, Megan comes to mind.  Linda, Carol, Lynn, Jess, and almost everyone else.  I wish you guys the best of luck in the course.  I haven’t talked a lot to Mitchel, but the conversations are usually pretty vibrant, and Melanie has by far I think the best natural flare for this course as I’ve seen in anyone.

Two first years I really want to single out by far is James and Mandy.  James completely dumbfounded me with his camera work at Potluck, he was like a seasoned vet and I’m sure the guy is going to be just fine in this course.  And Mandy, well not sure what to really say since she’s probably the most likely of anyone mentioned to actually read this post.  Hah I’ll say it anyway.  Not that I’ve been entrenched in first year work to make this generalization, but just seeing your writing and photography especially… I thinking Mandy is going to end up being a very viable candidate to be incredibly successful in the field.

Gage and Steph, best of luck with The Buzz when it gets back up and running.  Wildman may not be back, and I could very well be gone, but the show is still worth enduring.

Anyway, this is sounding more like a goodbye forever, semi-suicidal letter to everyone.  But, I just want to make sure that I say this while I’m still a classmate of you all.  I want to make sure that you all do well there and keep your heads up even as the course gets increasingly redundant and frustrating.  I am not a fan of the mentality that the current CNA Journalism program instills in the students.  I feel as though by graduating it is not an accomplishment of, “Oh Sweet! I have a journalism diploma”… but it’s more of, “Damn, I Survived CNA Journalism”… but that paper will go a long way for some of you.

Best of luck in all your future endeavors, and my fingers are crossed that this final farewell is a bit premature and that I’ll leave my meeting tomorrow with Chris Dohaney with my enrollment still secure and I’ll still be able to call myself of student of Journalism.

– James Cameron Sinks To A New Low –

As human beings we are very inquisitive creatures, the endless amount of research and money dedicated to space and ocean exploration is evidence enough of that.  We are always trying to make sense of anything that has not been explained yet.  So when I read that a submersible vehicle is being developed to dive into the depths of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean in the world, I expect it to be in a column for National Geographic, an in-depth piece on the marvels that the creators hope to discover.

Avatar by PatrickBrown @ Deviantart.com

Instead, I look at the homepage of Macleans Online under the “Need to Know” column, and see a link to an article of The Guardian, reporting that this journey is a part of James Cameron’s production of his Avatar sequel.  Click Here for the article.

Really?  This couldn’t have been replicated with computer graphics, or you couldn’t just find a spot in the ocean to film this.  How much of Avatar 2’s budget is going to be sunk into the development of this submarine.  It’s interesting that this trench is such an unknown entity on our planet, and the second time mankind will ever venture down into its depths, it is Hollywood making a movie.

It can be argued that this is a representation of the priorities that the western world has adopted.  The first journey into the trench was in 1960, and since then nobody has ever attempted it again.  Of course now that our start filmmaker wants to capture the visuals of this enigma the second trip is being planned…  50 Years Later!

I fail to understand why is it that Hollywood is the forerunner on this excursion.  I would imagine this would be a tremendous opportunity to study a portion of this planet that still remains a mystery of us… Instead we are diving deep to most likely have a bunch of blue CG characters swimming around pretending it is a different planet.

From a story telling perspective I will admit that I am intrigued to see where Cameron is planning on taking his Avatar series, now that it has been made known that the intention is to make it a trilogy.  I am not trying to say that it isn’t ground breaking methods of film making, I just honestly don’t see it as being necessary.  You can have an underwater planet, without experimenting with a submarine and diving into an area of the world that no human eyes have seen first hand in 50 years.

The more I read the article, the more I think.  Wow, this actually sounds like the real life plot of a cheesy horror movie.  I guess the old cliché holds true that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  Wait, hear me out.

An over-zealous film maker fresh off his monster hit is looking to film a sequel.  The first movie was so over-the-top that he really needs to figure out some way to make the sequel one not be over shadowed, so what does he do?  He develops a submarine to film his creation in the deepest depths of the Earth, needless to say this will mean he is giving us a setting that no over filmmaker has ever done in the history of cinema…. (this part is actually just recapping the facts.)… but then something does terribly wrong

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is as deep as Mt Everest is tall.

The sub dives deep with a crew on board to see what kind of shots they could expect, but they are not alone!  Something lurks in the dark deep depths of the Pacific Ocean, something no other man has ever locked eyes with.  A creature so menacing that it dominates the entire ocean floor… mankind’s unwelcome intrusion will not go unpunished…. coming to a theater near you…. (In Memory of James Cameron RIP 1954-2011)…. 20th Century Fox presents.. The Trench!!!  Experience it in IMAX and 3-D

Okay so maybe it is a little dramatic, but I believe I have proven my point.  Is Hollywood our new medium for discovery and exploration?  Probably not.  But really, there isn’t any aquatic scientists that have wanted to do this before hand, and if money was the reason that they have not been able to, what does that say about our allocation of resources.  A movie takes priority over actual science?

Anyway, I thought I’d share this little piece of knowledge with you, since I don’t think I’m ready to actually share what has really been on my mind lately.  I guess that’ll be an entry to come later.

What do you guys think?