Self-involved, but with a great taste in music

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Favorite Movies All-Time 6-10

This is a really tricky list. I used to have a list of 200+ movies, but then I discovered friends.

Honorable Mention:

10. Vanilla Sky

Plenty of people dislike or even hate this movie. I don't think the theme is too unique, but it does a wonderful job of portraying the consequences of living the dream.

9. The Dark Knight

I love comic books and Batman Begins was a paradigm shift. I couldn't imagine how the Dark Knight could measure up, but it exceeded the first in almost every way. The entire movie was about escalation. The relationships were more strained, the gadgets were more extreme, the consequences more dire. Christopher Nolan may be my favorite director. (The Prestige and Memento are both fantastic)

8. Gangs of New York

Picture really says it all.

7. Meet Joe Black

A buddy of mine was in a dead-end relationship that no one could seemingly talk him out of. We tried everything to open his eyes to the fact that he wasn't happy and he had to make a change. I figured it was a lost cause and time passed. One day he came over and Meet Joe Black was on. We didn't talk and after the movie just simply got up to leave. He paused by the door and said that he needed to go call his girlfriend and break up with her. I never asked him what about the movie solidified things for him, but Claire Forlani didn't hurt.

6. Dark City

Probably the most obscure movie on the list, Dark City isn't for everyone. It's a murder mystery with a sci-fi theme. Some outstanding questions are asked and this movie started a one-sided 10 year love affair with Jennifer Connelly.

My list of 10-30 is probably more popular, with movies like Office Space, Breakfast Club, ... crap... how do I not have the Departed in the top ten?? Ugh, this was a terrible idea.

Archive Song List 3

I found myself zoning out to Mazzy Star, which is hardly ever a good idea, so I had to mix it up a little. But it was cathartic.

If You Leave - Nada Surf
Into Dust - Mazzy Star
On fire - Switchfoot
This Womans Work Live - Maxwell
On Your Way - The Album Leaf

Monday, March 29, 2010


There are a few taboos that you're not supposed to talk about so flippantly; politics, sex, and religion. I typically adhere to this when I'm in a group and I don't know all the parties too well -- I'm mortified by the thought of being rude... well, when it's not intentional...

Stay focused, Shibu. ... My personal ideology is bit like Jello. I can see it. I've gone through phases of craving it and other phases when I didn't think too much of it. It isn't very easy to describe and explain to others. The flavor might work for some, it might not work for others. It's really just a single serving for me and consensus by others isn't a factor on whether it holds merit.

It's also malleable. That's probably the most important factor my ideology serves for me. I want to continuously be open to ideas and concepts that make sense. I'm somewhat arrogant and I'd like to believe that I have it all figured out or that I've found an outlined path that is empirically true -- so I try to curb that as much as possible. My lifetime has been less than a blink compared to the existence of the earth. I've seen about .1% of the world. So I try to steer from beliefs as that would feed into my ego and instead I've built a set of ideas. Things that I believe are important. Things that I should hope define my core. However, as much as I might agree with some of these ideas, I want to be open to the possibility of re-thinking any of these ideas given new information.

A personal relationship with God makes sense to me. I respect organized religion. I believe that it serves as a pillar for countless individuals and, almost always, serves as a tool that engenders a positive impact to a community. However, like all tools, it can be used for questionable motives as well.

Leave it to a few yahoos to ruin the party for everyone. The responsibility and honor of acting as a interpreter/speaker for any religion is immense. The vast majority of occupants in these roles execute their position with the utmost integrity and honesty. However, while I believe that man is generally good, I also believe that man is inherently flawed. Not broken, just a work-in-progress. Therefore a person that acts as a go-between or even a resource to help me better define my relationship with God... I've always been a bit hesitant to accept that with open arms.

There is a lot of debate between those that believe in a higher power and those that do not. Historians have cited scripture. Science has been used as a irrefutable witness... by both sides. The debate used to interest me, but, in my estimation, it's a futile exercise. People may be able to "prove" that something in the Bible or Koran is factually inconsistent, but should that remove all merit from the text? I see books of scripture not as books of fact, but books of faith. As such, there is nothing to prove true or false.

People sometimes ask, "do you believe in God?" I've augmented the question a bit... "given the choice, would you prefer to find out that God exists or God doesn't exist? If you could open a door and you'd see God or nothing, which would you prefer?" That question (yes, technically two questions, but really just restating the first) is pretty easy for me to answer, but it's also irrelevant. Faith isn't about being right. Faith is knowing what's behind the door without having to open it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Archive Song List 2

An eclectic mix. Brand New has really grown on me recently. They'll make another appearance soon...

Rogue Wave - Eyes
The Roots - You Got Me
Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
Brand New - Jesus Christ
A Perfect Circle - The Hollow (constantly consuming remix)

Pretty soon I'm going to start stealing Cole's songs. =)

Top 5ish 80s Movies - Endurance

Recently I was talking to a friend and they told me how they had missed out on (an unacceptable) number 80s movies. As I threw one fantastic suggestion after another [all of my suggestions in any matter range from incredible to amazing] I started to wonder how my list would change if a particular film was viewed for the first time today.

This brings me to a confession. This isn't the first time I encountered this question in my head. I've dated a younger girl or two in my time. Age gaps mean less to me as I'm getting older but when I was 26 I was dating a 21-year old for a bit. She had a lot of great qualities but our music/movie tastes did not sync up at all. INXS, George Micheal, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cure, ... nothing. Instead it was Simple Plan or something like that. Never again.

So either I'll significantly cut off a pipeline of eligible girls because of their lack of exposure to the wonders that the 80s provided (and if they've already suffered so much from being deprived of the 80s, should I really punish them by ensuring them a bu-less existence? Too cruel...) or I can come up with some methods to test how compatible with the 80s they are.

Here's a list of the Top 5 80s movies that would utterly break my heart if they did not hold up over time:

Top Honorable Mention: The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys is the preemptive male counter to Twilight. Ladies, feel free to swoon over Edward and Jacob, I'll take horrible effects and choice dialog such as, "Death by stereo!" any day. This is exactly the type of movie that SHOULDN'T hold up over time, but it's so 80s that it'd be tragic if it doesn't stand the test of time.

I give the Twilight series a pretty hard time. Let me offer some praise. I love the setting. The first 1/2 of Twilight (the first book) introduced some questions I wanted answers to. And...the music is awesome?

5. Rocky IV

I don't know that Rocky IV is the best Rocky, but it's my favorite. The movie has the Russians portrayed as crazy communists who dope up their athletes to unheard of levels... and it's totally TRUE! Wrap it up with a Baboa speech about acceptance and tolerance after we stereotyped the ish out of you. Love it.

4. Real Genius

Out of the others on this list, this one is probably the most obscure. Val Kilmer wasn't bloated looking and was too cool for school. The use of Tears for Fears, "Everyone wants to rule the world" was on point.

3. Beverly Hills Cop / Die Hard

Where are my detonators, Mr. Cowboy. Die Hard is the best action movie from the 80s. There aren't a ton of special effects, Carl Weathers isn't in it... but it's still legit.

Beverly Hills Cop was the first R movie I saw. My mom loved/loves this movie so much that she didn't care to that we watched it with her.

2. Breakfast Club

Confession. I didn't see this start to finish, unedited, until about three years ago. One of my top errors. Claire is a fat girl's name.

1. Top Gun

I'm a guy. Was there any doubt? The quintessential 80s movie. Overly aggressive males. Motorcycles. Jet planes. Kenny Loggins.

As a special treat, this is one of the best videos I've ever seen:

I took movies series off the list (save for Die Hard - I refuse to recognize the other Beverly Hills Cop movies), so Karate Kid, Indiana Jones, National Lampoons, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future didn't make the cut. Here are some others that are worthy: Better off Dead, Can't Buy Me Love, The Big Chill, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Risky Business, Labyrinth, Legend and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Archive song list 1

I have an utterly amazing taste in music. I was told once by someone that I didn't, but that person was wrong.

I'll switch up the playlist from time to time and when I do I'll document the songs that were on here, just in-case you have as incredible taste as I do and you want to explore the bands further.

The Cinematic Orchestra - To build a home (live)
30 Seconds to Mars - Kings and Queens
Damian Rice - The Blowers Daughter
Arcade Fire - Wake up
The Appleseed Cast - A Dream for Us
Iron and Wine Cover - Naked As We Came (yes, that's really the name...)
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Your Guardian Angel

Monday, March 15, 2010

My mind vs. reality

I wander a bit. I've always had daydreams and it's been a goal of every teacher, professor, guardian, etc. to increase my focus for things that are more pragmatic. In my advanced age (thanks, Cole) I've capitulated a bit. I make lists. I have check boxes. I actually do check my check boxes as I knock off tasks. No one has ever seen me check off a box, so I'll aggressively deny that I am that lame if it ever comes up.

It may seem odd then when I tell you that I'm huge on efficiency. On the radio I heard a story about an efficiency expert who acts as a consultant to companies of varying specialties. He'll come in and see what everyone does on a day-to-day basis and he'd make small changes. He turned some people's desks in a different direction. He moved the printer to a more central location. Changes like this saved the company thousands of hours over a year. (there's a side entry here about the more time we save, the more time we burn... but I'll leave that for later) I'd be freaking amazing at this. I lose my **** when I see people on the freeway matching speeds and blocking the throughput of traffic. I die slowly when lazy cars don't move over to the right for faster traffic to pass. I scold myself when I re-enter a room to grab something I forgot.

The best way to explain how I operate is that I work hard and efficiently so I can enjoy the time in my head untethered. When I'm inundated with tasks/goals/alcohol I'm liable to let some things drop. Which is actually one of the main reasons I felt like a blog was a good idea. I could consistently engage here and direct people to this place when they wanted to know what I was up to.

Well, the reason for this post is to explain that I need to be tethered from time to time. (Props to Kristin for coming up with the assist as she reminded/compelled me to make another entry) When I get reeled back into reality, it's kinda like below...

I was sold on the idea that it'd be like...

However, it feels like...

And yet it's probably most like...

Which, contrary to little man's despondent posture, isn't half bad.

The people in our lives are the best reason to get out of one's head and I rely on peeps to poke me from time to time. Ironically, writing in this blog entails me diving back into my own head --- and that's having your cake and eating it too, folks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best. Ad. Ever.

I'm pretty confident most everyone has seen this ad, but it just gets so much better with each subsequent watch.

Defining Irony

(I had a picture of this guy here... but he was too ugly for my blog)

I absolutely love it when something happens that defines irony to the letter. Of course there are many labels to describe the following:

The value of education

So that's my absolutely adorable niece (and this rat dog. he's been in some movie but I can't place it.) Her name is Ishani and if anyone wants some girl scout cookies on the cheap (like free) holla at cha boy. I bought her way to some prize but I lied and said I wasn't getting them all, but that my friends were. I think the lie was me having friends.

Anyhow, I have a pretty big order of cookies, but the catch is that I'm making her deliver the boxes to my friends. She's a little shy so it'll be good for her.

She's six and normal. A little A.D.D. Very imaginative. Loves Taylor Swift. Well, every couple of weeks when my brother has her I go over during the week to help her with her homework. Education is really important to me. Anyhow, I got back a little while ago and here are her vocabulary words for the week:

Pitch - okay, I guess. Baseball season is around the corner?

Pitcher - alright, so I'm trying to teach her this word and that's kinda hard to do without teaching her about baseball. That did NOT go well. Also, this is a homonym, meaning it can be spelled the same way, pronounced the same way, but mean two or more different things. (cue the "the more you know" music clip) Anyhow, I then tried to use a pitcher of lemonade as an example and it did sit well that a word could mean two different things. Teaching fail... do not try to teach anyone under the age of 12 what a homonym is -- even if you don't use the word, it doesn't end well -- for anyone.

Picture - this is obviously just to trip up the little rugrats (and annoy the piss out of me.) So there I am, trying to get my A.D.D. niece to listen to the distinguishing characteristics of PICK-TURE and PITCH-ER.

Early - fine
Breakfast - good
Ready - great
Eight - sure
Climb - absolutely
Cause - why not
Omit - what the ****.

Seriously? Why? When will be the first time she'll use omit? When was the last time you used omit? Sadly I can remember mine. I was trying to explain its definition to a six-year old.

"it's when something is left out"
"left out of what?" (fair question on her part)
"like what?"
"like if i put these cookies back in the package except for this one. that one would be omitted."
"why?" (oh good god)
"why what? why is it called omitted or why did i leave it out?"
"i don't know"
"i don't either..."

Time passes...
"can you just write this word ten times, twice without looking at the word and we'll work on what it means later."

This is my nightmare.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be wary when you play beer pong at Gilligans

Beer pong. Great fun. Doing it at a bar, possibly even better. That is unless you ran into the douche nozzle we ran into on Friday night. This guy was fresh off an 80s bully kick as he had his girl with feathered hair in one arm and challenged us using dramatic motions with his other hand. Think Johnny from Karate Kid part 1... but not anywhere near as badass.

For what a sucktard this guy was, he was a freaking legend on the table. Somehow I gravitated to some side conversation and just got to witness my boys getting blasted. The guy re-tied his sweater around his neck and strolled off, meaning that that it's time to tie a tire to our chests and run up hill. Who says Rocky IV is outdated? My buds, as you can tell from above, turned on one another like the end of Double Dragon.

The one that got away

In the movie Funny People Adam Sandler talks about "the one that got away." He says that guys and serial killers have those.

The missed opportunity probably weighs on both just the same.

I could have settled down with maybe three or so of the girls that I've dated and had been pretty content with life. That's not to say I didn't like the other ones, I think I was rather fond of each of them... most of them... but there were a select few that would linger in my mind longer than the rest. But even then I don't really consider those select few as the girls that may have escaped me.

The one that got away is the girl that you felt something for and you never took a shot. Maybe when you were building up the courage she left with someone else or vomited in her hair. Maybe she ends up with your best friend and you have nothing you can do but write a song about it (looking at you, Rick Springfield.) Or maybe it was a girl with which you just had terrible timing. That there was a strong connection and seemingly the universe conspired to reveal the potential you two had, yet never allowed a situation when you were both single and ready.

The particulars of my current situation I'll leave under wraps, but recently I was reminded of what things in a woman that I truly value by a woman I'll always value. And while I could find plenty of people to pass time with and share a life with, there are a certain few aspects of a relationship that make it much more meaningful.

Or maybe she just needs to be really, really hot.