Friday, May 30, 2008

Real life nightmares

I saw this site linked by a webcomic I frequent. The photos are taken from this site, but they're easier to view from the first link. (Seriously, they're not for anyone who's easily scared or creeped out. This is your warning.)

They're some of the creepiest photos I think I've ever seen. And they're not photoshopped either; they're people in costumes and makeup with props and lighting. They're real poses and real setups.

The girl going down the stairs - the image I chose for this post - almost made me jump. That was always one of my fears as a child.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life moves pretty fast

I have to get up in about two hours [as of finishing this post, I have to get up in 1.3 .75 hours]. The reason is so I can get ready and be at the airport at about 5:30am to board a plane that's leaving at 7 for Phoenix where I'll begin my first day at my new job.

I. Can't. Sleep.

I lied in bed for over two hours. Part of the reason I can't sleep is because my room is currently sweltering and I left my fan at my parents' house when I moved. The main reason is because of anxiety about this job.

In order to pass the time, I've been reading my family and friends' weblogs. I've noticed that life really does move quickly. It was only a few years ago that I moved in with Jared after my freshman year of college. After that summer, Doug moved in, and a year after that Marvia got back from her mission and started dating Jared. Now they're expecting their second child.

A year and a half ago I didn't even know my sister was interested in anyone. Now she's married and is almost 6 months pregnant.

I suppose life moves by quickly at this stage. Most of the people I know are done with college and working. We're at the stage where the rails of education come off and we're left on this path without anything guiding us. It's up to us now. Taking classes, it was always easy to predict the next six months or the next year - you'd be taking more classes. You might not know exactly what classes you'd be taking, but you knew you'd just be taking more classes.

That's not an option anymore. Classes are done. Life starts here.

I suppose the next step of life - the next guidepost - is to get married. While that is a perceptively easy thing to do once you have found the right person, finding the right person is not so perceptively easy. Being a part of a singles ward does make it easier; you meet a girl and you know right away she's single. It takes away the initial part of meeting someone where you try to nonchalantly look at their ring finger to see if their taken. That's always awkward if they catch you looking. It's not exactly subtle.

Even when the girl is single, finding the right one is difficult. There's so much that goes into a relationship, so much that makes up a person, that it feels like playing roulette every time I ask a girl out. Yes, I know she's cute - that much is obvious and, I admit, probably the reason I asked her out to begin with - but does she like the same things I do? Is she the kind of girl who sits on the sidelines of sporting events with a smile on her face or the girl who jumps onto the field and charges down the ball? Will she challenge me to a game of chess and make me spend hours pondering my next move or would she just suggest we play Parcheesi? Can she sit down with a copy of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia and then talk about it afterwards or would she rather just watch the movies and call it good?

Does she care about her health or does she just throw caution to the wind assuming she'll always look like she does now?

I suppose these are the things I think about and look for when I'm with a girl. Sadly, the girl I've gone on a couple dates with a girl whom I find incredibly attractive, but just doesn't match up with the kind of girl I want. We don't share interests. We don't share funny stories or plan activities. We don't have the same hobbies. We don't debate politics. We don't discuss our home lives. We don't talk much at all.

I want to be challenged. I want a girl who pushes me. I want a girl who philosophizes and who makes me grow. I want a girl who's my equal (if not my superior) who makes me want to be a better person. I want to wake up each morning and smile because I'm going to do whatever I can to be a better person so that I can be the best I can be - physically, mentally, and spiritually - for her.

I want her to look at me and say to herself "that's my man."

I know this isn't too much to ask. I had a girl like this once. It didn't work out for various reasons - whether or not it could have worked out I'm still unsure. But that's in the past. Now I'm looking ahead. For the first time, I feel like I'm actually looking for a partner in life. I'm looking for a girl who's my equal, whom I respect above all others and whom I strive to make happy.

admit that previously I've been somewhat shallow. If I found a girl attractive, I'd justify her personality and actions because I thought she was cute and wanted her to be the one for me. I went on a date with a girl I found absolutely beautiful and told myself that it was a fantastic night. In reality we hardly talked because there just wasn't anything we had in common and we really didn't get along. I wanted so badly for her to be the one for me that I told myself we could work out. We wouldn't have. Thankfully she saw it and told me "no" for a second date. It would have been ugly if we had been a couple.

I've started looking at girls and thinking how she'd be as a wife. I've started looking for girls with similar interests and complementary personalities. I've started looking at girls and pondering whether or not I could come home from work, give her a kiss and ask her how her day was.

I've started wondering what our kids might look like.

Real life starts here. And it moves pretty fast.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Orson Scott Card on J.K. Rowling's latest law suit

This was brought to my attention today.

It's an editorial written by Orson Scott Card about J.K. Rowling's lawsuit against the Harry Potter Lexicon that is being published. She's claiming it's copyright infringement and is profiting off of her hard work and so on and so forth. Card's reply is basically that she has no right to speak about infringement or anyone commenting on her work because she's copied from numerous authors (himself included) and now she's just upset because she's no longer in the limelight and her books aren't bestsellers anymore.

He tears into her, but not without good reason. I had never looked much into the Harry Potter series for concepts and ideas taken from other works, but it's very apparent she didn't create them all herself - even Neil Gaiman had several ideas taken (just one example: wizards having letters delivered by owls). However, many authors - and Card comments about this - are ok with this because they themselves have done it and understand that people get inspiration from reading one another's works. And they acknowledge this.

Rowling, however, does not admit she got ideas from anyone and claims them all herself and as such feels she owes no thanks to anyone for her success. With this same arrogance, she is now suing a man whom she once gave an award to for "best fan site" for profiting from her hard work. She's completely ignoring the fact that she profited more than the queen of England from other's hard work and ideas which she assembled and rearranged - exactly what this guy is doing. The difference is that the Lexicon author admits 100% that none of the ideas are his own, all are the work of Rowling, and this is merely a reference for her fans.

She's still suing him.

I have to say, after reading this, I am sorely disappointed in Rowling. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, I know my family did, and I know billions of people worldwide did as well. The least she could do is admit that perhaps she got some inspiration from other authors and give other people a chance to comment on her work. It's not like she's gonna lose her house because of lost sales, although I have heard Scottish castles are somewhat expensive to heat in the winter...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ways to celebrate May Day

  • Jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell (Oxford tradition)
  • Females: Crown yourself Queen of the May, aka The Maiden, aka Maid Marian, aka Queen of the Elves (no, I'm not joking)
  • Show appreciation for your favorite international worker in honor of "International Worker's Day" by reading Marx (either the philosopher or the comedy troupe) and give them a hug (if you don't know anyone international who works, you can hug Rocio, but really, I recommend you look harder at Facebook, they've got to have a group or something you can get a name off of)
  • Attend Roodmas at your local Church of England chapel. Or, if you're not into the whole Anglican thing, you could find a group of pagans celebrating Walpurgis Night and attend that (for "educational" purposes...).
  • Dance around the May Pole (a light post may be used of a suitable May Pole cannot be located, but really, you should have a Festivus Pole in your closet or attic already)
  • Do your own Maydayrun (aka MayDay Run, aka May Day Run) and drive your moped/scooter/motorbike 89 kilometers for funsies.
  • Participate in 'Obby-'Oss, "believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revellers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even through the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional 'May Day' song." (source: Wikipedia). I couldn't make this up.
  • Give a Lily of the Valley to ladies of the court.
  • Wrap a tree in white streamers - and only white streamers - and leave it on the doorstep of someone you don't like.
  • Celebrate Bealtaine by lighting a bonfire in the 'naval of Ireland.'
  • Read Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. All 12 books and 9,685 pages (May Day is part of the "Wheel of the Year" pagan holidays, which sounds kind of like "Wheel of Time," right?)