X-Men 3, and me.

May 30, 2006

Today I watched X-Men 3 for the first time. 

It leads me to say that entertainment can be quality work without me enjoying it. 

While I fully recognized that the movie had all that is lawfully required for a summer blockbuster, I didn't manage to enjoy it very much.   Which is too bad for a movie that I have been looking forward to for years. 

I guess this is the problem when you're a geek – too hardcore to accept anything that doesn't fit in my geekitude.  Like movies that don't match comics.

Not that I'd know…. what was… in the comics…  Cause I don't read them… 

right.

Yeah, that's it.

Greg

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Memorial day.

 Work was good.  Made about 100 dollars. 

Now I'm done at 5 PM.  I don't have anything to do.  And mostly because I don't have anybody to do it with.  Everybody is doing things already.  Hmm.

I want to go on a hike, then barbeque.  Plug me in, america!

Maybe I'll go eat at taco bell instead.

-Gregor.

11:20 PM. Not sleepy.

May 22, 2006

I'm taking 3 days off this week to learn how to tune pianos.  Well, I already know, but I'm learning how to use a tuning computer now too.  And practicing.  And taking it easy.  It would be better if Kayeleen was here, but that's pretty much true all the time.  Wow, that's sappy.

It's 11 PM, and everybody is in bed except me.   Even the black cat has found his spot on the top of the bookshelves.  As for me, I've been plagued with the feeling that I'm forgetting something or not doing something important.   I don't know why.  I think that maybe I need to make some daily goals or something. 

 One of the good changes from my mission is that I love to be busy now.  I feel better when I have projects and when I'm doing things and working.  It's one of the best changes for me, I think.  The negative side is that it's hard to have guilt-free relaxation unless I pencil in some time for it.  The up-side is that I feel great when I accomplish all my goals for the day.   I just don't set goals often enough.

The invitations are nearly done.  I tried to be helpful but it turns out I'm not too good at that stuff, so Kayeleen's dad, who is good at that kind of stuff, produced a great looking and cost effective version that will be sent out soon.  Now we just have to find addresses and things like that.  May be a bit of a problem for my friends in taiwan.  Grr.

Tuning the piano was boring and a little difficult.  But if I got fast at it (faster than the 4 hours it took me) I could probably make it cost effective.  If I ever got jobs, that is.  I can hear all kinds of overtones and noises that my dad couldn't hear.  It made it hard for me to focus on the 'in-tune/out-of-tune' noises. 

The hardest part for me when coming home is seeing my library.  Every time I end up pulling multiple books of the shelves and re-reading them – which keeps me up till all hours of the night.  Not good.  For instance I just spent an hour reading an art book about Alex Ross instead of writing this entry and emailing.  If I had been good I could be getting ready for bed right now.  But no, I had to look at the library.

Well, I've rambled on about nothing for quite long enough.  When properly motivated, I will write about the stupidity of making bad choices or something.  Cause I'm opinionated like that.

-Greg

May 19, 2006

Luke sent me the following email:

Dear friends, i do not like the informality of a form letter on this subject
matter but i hope you will for give me.  I think we should treat our mothers
with more respect and love.  we will never know when they will not be with
us.  My mother of 25 years passed away peacefully last night.  she was found
by my father on the floor in the kitchen.  I will be flying home tomorrow
for a week to take care of my dad and the funeral.  Please call your mothers
and tell them that you love them.  I cant. Do it for me.
I love you all.
She is in paradise now, fulfilling a mission.  That was her fondest dream
was to preach the gospel.  Please keep me and my dad in your prayers.

I feel really sad for him, and wonder about a lot of things about life and things that have to do with life.   It's strange to realize that, unless we choose very carefully, all the things we draw security from are eventually not going to be here.  I wrote a letter from the mission about it, posted on the old sixmilevillage site:

7 – 13 -05

Look at your zipper.

If it says "YKK" on it, I live by the place of your zipper's birth.

This reminds me of the time I stood at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. I thought, "Oh. I'm at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. That's famous or something. I don't know why it's famous. I just know it is. And now I'm here." Then I looked around at the razorwire on top of the fences, and the dirty little chinese restaurant, and the bars on the windows and I thought, "They could have picked a better famous place."

I have a few personally famous places. I mean, I have a few places that are special to me. Some because of who they were shared with, some because I just like them. Some are refuges. Most are inspirational to me. All have good memories attached. I know why they're famous to me. And most are unknown except to a select few. I suspect only Rodney knows where all of my famous places are. And I'm fine with that.

There is a cabin in the mountains where I like to go and pretend to be an artistic or creative kind of person.

There is a crack in the cliffs that allows passage to the top of the mountain.

There is a restaurant with great bread and plenty of ranting space.

There is a road that leads to a place far away from here filled with better radio stations and more movie choices.

There is a coffee shop that does great sandwiches and hot chocolate.

There is a certain log with a branch that would not give in to repeated kickings.

There is a kind of music that makes for better writing.

There is a house where I and my friends have always been welcome.

Well, I've learned something about the nature of the world and of life recently. There is a scripture somewhere that says that all things must fail, (minus one, it goes on to say) and I've started understanding that recently.

Another refuge from the storm is gone. With time and decay, change in health and circumstance, everything must change. There was a place that I relied on for much strength and happiness now gone. Not because the place is gone, but because the person who was there has left.

It leads me to think 2 things. 1: we must always be progressing. Finding new things that are our famous places. Otherwise we will one day run out, and we'll be left thinking "What ever happened to hollywood and vine?" 2: We must always try to find the unfailing refuge.

I didn't know I would talk about all that, but I have, and I aint gonna take it back.

 -Greg

I was recently on a trans-pacific flight.  My fatigue told me it was about two A.M.  There were to be 3 movies showing on the flight.  The first had been something new and dramatic by Robert Redford.  It involved a lot of people sitting around, looking stoic in the out-of-doors.  They would cut to a person, the person would talk, there would be a dramatic pause, then cut to person B.  Person B pauses dramatically, then speaks, then pauses, then cut to person A again.

It went on for a while.

Also, I think there was a bear. 

Well, I didn't bother to watch that one all the way through, really.  And when it was over, I said to my self: "Self.  You had better try to sleep at least a little on this flight."  And I thought about trying.  And then I thought "What is this next movie like?  Maybe you could give it 5 minutes of your time and see what you think before rejecting it.  You haven't seen movies in 2 years, but you've slept practically daily.  Maybe you'll like it."

So I put on the headphones and watched as a movie I had never heard of started playing.

It was black and white, which I thought was dumb and gimmicky.  It was directed, the opening credits proclaimed, by George Clooney – which I immediately found suspicious.  At this point I became hostile and started growling.

Then it started.  There were tight camera angles.  There was a great monolouge about the importance of the impartial media.  There was shouting over each other – so much that you couldn't even understand what people were saying.  There was great american history presented in a quick and exciting way. 

90 minutes later, I didn't want to sleep.  I wanted to wake up the Japanese girl in go-go boots next to me and tell her about what an amazing film I had just seen.

Good Night, and Good Luck is a great film.  What makes it great is that it's not only entertaining – it's important.  The subject matter is the 1950's media and political battle between reporter Edward R. Murrow and senator Joseph McCarthy.  Can CBS air a show that is attacking a politician who is endorsed by the shows sponsors?  Is it ethical to say no? 

Cinematography is great.

Music is great.

Acting is the best I've seen.  David Strathairn is *insert a word that means amazing but which isn't over-used by people who review movies in order to emphasize he really is just that amazing*.

The plot is quick and powerful.

Go buy this movie.

-Greg

Two things

May 10, 2006

Two Cheezy ThingsWelp,

I've just done two things I haven't done either a.) in a long time, or b.) ever.

Before I tell you these two things, I want you to know the reason these two cheesers on the left are so excited is because they found my engagement pictures online by clicking on the word "company" below.

a.) Played a computer game.  This game really doesn't quite count, though, because it was settlers of catan (which is a board game) in java form.  And it was against computerized intelligences which defeated me handily in short amounts of time.  Curse them.  And it wasn't even the expansion. 

I felt weird about it (and felt it write-worthy) because I haven't played a computer game in over 2 years.  I don't really miss them.  And I'm starting to see a time-sucking aspect that I just can't afford in my life at this point.  I gots stuffs to do.

b.) Watched Napoleon Dynamite.  This is the movie that all the new missionaries about 1 year ago couldn't stop talking about.  I laughed, but more because of the company than because of the movie.   My roommate makes a great Llama impression.  

I intend to write a few reviews of movies sometime soon, but not of this one. 

In other news…  I'm tired.

-Greg

The Why

May 6, 2006

engagementSomebody left me a note that said that he or she thought it was really sad that people who serve missions marry so quickly after getting back.  This post is in response to the unsigned coment:

"You know return missionaries usually marry within six months after their missions end.

I think its sad.

Really, I do."

I don't know who this is or what this 'sadness' is referring to.  I think it could be either sad because 'dang, there goes another one that I can't have' or it could be 'dang, they're so naive.  They don't know what they're doing, they don't know who they are…'

I'm guessing this comment reffers to the latter.   That there's something wrong with getting married quickly after having been a missionary.

I can't imagine what the problem is.

So I'll just go about explaining me.  Why is it that I'm getting married just a bit more than 4 months after having returned from a mission.

I suppose the first and most important thing to do is ask the question "Is there something wrong with marriage?"

To me, marriage is the best relationship a man and woman can share.  It is the beginnings of the best relations I've ever experienced – those of family.  I know what a successful family can be like, and I know what it takes.  I feel sorry for those who feel that there is no such thing as a truly happy marriage.

Now, assuming I'm right, why wouldn't I want to get started on my own family as soon as I can after having put it off for 2 years?  Why would anybody put it off longer than the 18 or 24 months they had already put it off?  Obviously some people can't help it and every circumstance is different, but if I'm right wouldn't it be something to persue? 

If you love somebody…   And you know that that person has all the qualities you've ever hoped for in a spouse…  And you enjoy being happy…

Why wouldn't you embrace happiness?

Maybe the problem is some sort of negative view of serving a mission and the changes that take place in a person.   I've heard people say upon my returning, "You're going to need some time to re-adjust."

I suggest these people are missing the point.

I didn't go on a mission just to come back.  This wasn't a trip up the ladder then back down again.  The mission was supposed to change me.  I went because I wanted to become somebody – not just visit a personality then leave it behind.  I came back with no intention of 're-adjusting' to anything but spending more time alone.  But even being alone wouldn't change who I am and who I want to be – that person which was developed as my 24 years of life were plugged into a 2 year ideal.

And in terms of marriage… Why wouldn't I want to marry when I'm at my best?  I want her to expect me at my best.  I expect it of myself.  I want to expect it and get it forever.  There's no reason to wait on that account. 

The only other reason I can think of to put it off would be concerns having to do with how long and how well you know your potential mate. 

On this count, I think 9 years is a sufficient amount of time to get to know my future wife.

But obviously I'm not every returned missionary.  And yes, there are lots who find a girl and marry her within a few months of getting back.  Why do they do that?  This is a harder question for me to answer.  But I can tell you that your capacity for real love grows immensely while serving a mission.  Those who have served will probably tell you that they loved the people they worked with just as much as they loved their own family and closest of friends.   Maybe that's part of it – that these people are simply able to love harder and faster and stronger than other people can understand or believe.   Maybe it's that they feel there's something hugely important about marriage.  Maybe, to them it's more than just an outdated social custom.  Perhaps even essential in developing the most desirable of human relations.  And maybe, just maybe, there is a God and he cares enough about each person who dedicates 2 years to His service to get that person in contact with his or her soulmate ASAP. 

I honestly have no idea.  I'm not in that situation.  I am marrying a girl I've known for years and who fits me better than anybody I've ever met.  I love her.  I want to commit to her.  We knew we would get married even before I left for my mission, so I have no desire to wait any longer than I absolutely must in order to make my committment to her official, binding, and more permanant than is the already deep and rewarding friendship she and I already share. 

I hope this answers somebody's questions and creates more understanding and trust in a world where it's easy to be hurt, then afraid, then doubting, then cynical.

-Gregzor