Archive for July, 2010

The Guilt Trip

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 28, 2010 by Budd Black

Sunday night, we had dinner and my youngest stated that she wasn't hungry or didn't like it or some such thing.  Bedtime rolls around and the get sent to bed.  They obviously are digging on this summer schedule stuff because they rebelled.  They had to go to the bathroom, they forgot to brush their teeth, they wanted to stay up and read in their room.  At about 11pm, they come out and state that the youngest is hungry.  In my infininite wisdom, I tell her that she won't be hungry if she goes to sleep. 

 

It was actually getting close to my own bedtime and by the time I got to my bed there was a note on it. 

 

It said something like the youngest is a growing child, needs food for strong bones.  Jesus only asked that they feed him and that he said what you do to the least of them you do also to me.  so by not feeding the youngest, we didn't feed Jesus and therefore sinned.  It was extremely well written and the only thing I could say after reading it was that she had mispelled sinned, she only used one N. 

 

It was enough to get my wife out of bed to feed her at 11:30pm.  That letter is getting saved.  It made both feel guilty and feel proud at the same time.  Proud that she could write a well written letter, proud that she is learning something at church, and proud that she is looking out for her sister. 

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Wipeout

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 23, 2010 by Budd Black

The girls and I have been enjoying this season of wipeout.  Although the blind date episode was the best, the show is almost always hilarious.  I have to give ABC props.  John and John up in the booth are great.  Jill Wagner always asks the best questions.  They make this show.  Without them being funny, it wouldn't really work.  It also helps that the obsacles are so ridiculous. 

The only downfall is that someone will eventually get hurt on this show.  But until then, good night and big balls. 

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why nerds are not cool.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 22, 2010 by Budd Black

I found this and thought that is was a really interesting take on the subject. 

http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

 

My wife keeps telling my daughter that she has to be really smart so she can be popular in high school and I keep telling her that doesn't happen in the U.S.  She disagrees.  I mean I am sure it happens in a very few schools, but not a vast majority and almost never in a public school. 

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Busy Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 19, 2010 by Budd Black

Friday night ended VBS and we went to the final program and watched the kids sing.  Ashli got pretty close to one of the girls there so we planned some activities with them over the weekend. 

On Sat, we went to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Mass.  It was pretty fun.  Ashli got into it, surprisingly.  This was mainly a trip for the other families 13 year old, but an opportunity for everyone to spend time together.  I haven't played basketball in quite a while and had a pretty good time shooting hoops in the gym.  The 13 year old we were with got 2nd in the free throw competition.  We had Ice Cream at the cold stone next door afterwards.  someone tipped them and they did their half hearted tip song thing that sounded like they were being tortured to sing it.  I almost left without ordering because I didn't want to traumatize them worse than they already were.  I definetly didn't leave a tip as that would have been more than I could handle. 

Sunday, we went to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice with the same family.  My review is over at SciFi Media.  First we stopped at Mickey D's for some food.  We place our order and the lady rings us up for two happy meals instead of one, I tell her not to worry about it, the movie starts in 30mins and we need to go, but she forgets my wife's chicken sandwich and we have to wait for them to make it.  I though fast food service was supposed to get better during an economic downturn. 

The girls were not done playing, after the movie, so her over for a couple of hours after the movie. 

It was fun, but the family is moving to TX next month and we won't see them anymore.  That sucks. 

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Kafka on the Shore-book review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 16, 2010 by Budd Black

I will preface this by saying that I am a huge Murakami fan.  I picked up a copy of Norwegian Wood several years ago (I think I got an uncorrected proof for free).  I was blown away.  His writing style was poignent and amazing.  Norwegian Wood is one of my favorite books and Murakami is one of my favorite authors.  I went on to read some of his short story collections, South of the Border, West of the Sun, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Underground, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and I listened to Dance, Dance, Dance.  To this point South of the Border was my least favorite and that was because it was just kind of forgettable.  I enjoyed reading it.  Undergound and The Wind Up Bird Chronicles are two more favorites.  Underground is even non fiction. 

This review is for the Audio book version:

The plot follows 15 year old Tamura (Kafka) as he runs away from home.  He has the Oedipal curse placed upon him and that seems to be what he is running from, but he doesn't know who his mother is; she left when he was four.  The curse also stated that he would sleep with his sister.  As the book progresses, it looks as though Kafka is running towards the curse instead of away from it. 

A second part of the plot follows a man named Nakata.  Something weird that is never explained in the book happens that causes him to be mentally deficient when he is young.  He is now old and the governor gives him a subsidy.  He is by far the more interesting character in the story.  He can talk to cats, which makes him an excellent cat finder. 

Throw in some incest, pediphilia, rape/incest, murder, animal mutilation, Colonel Sanders as a pimp, fish and leaches raining from the sky, a transvestite librarian, a philosophy touting prostitute, some classical music product placement, Johny Walker as a pied piper, and some really good dumps and the rest of the story is filled in. 

Like I said earlier.  The Nakata character is the most interesting as is his story arch.  The Kafka character comes across as very Emo and very unnatural for a 15 year old.  He runs across a women and speculates she is his mother, then sleeps with her.  Both characters are aware that he thinks that she is his mother, and the mother is positive that she is.  The Kafka parts of the story come across as Lectures and incestual erotica. 

At one point in the novel, during a lecture, the Chekov line that if there is a gun on the table in act one, it should be

Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami

fired by the end of the play comes up.  This is very ironic because there are all kinds of metephorical guns laying all over the place in the novel and not a single shot is heard at the end.  The resolution wasn't so much a resolution as it was more just throwing the pieces to the wind.  Murakami has a tendency to wander in the last third of his longer works.  It almost seems as he is looking for a way to get to the climax, in his other longer works this has been okay because said wandering has lead us on some kooky adventures.  This book seems to wander the whole way and sure it is a kooky adventure, there is no sense on the kafka side of the narrative that anything has really changed or that he has learned anything. 

Overall this story looked like an incoherent list of tropes from his other works.  It is all there.  Cats, dream worlds, prostitutes, travel, someone too young being given attention by someone much older (although he took a new take on it in this one), world war II playing into the story in some way, the student riots of the 60's in japan, love of music, love of literature, strange sexual sequences, his love of obscure cinema and Woody Allen movies, unrequited love.  Yes, every page of the book feels like you have been there bofore but had a better time the previous trip. 

I can't really suggest this book.  If you are unfamiliar with Murakami, I would suggest a book of his short stories.  He seems to be a polarizing auther as people love him or hate him.  The short stories will give you a feel for his varied writing styles.  I have already mentioned my favorite novels above.  I understand that he can't write something I will like everytime and I hope that this novel is the odd ball out.  It got great reviews from the intellectual elite, but his books are smart and weird so that is to be expected, but this was just derivitive of everything else he has done.  It came across as lazy. 

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America’s Got Talent, but They Show off Something Else.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 14, 2010 by Budd Black

Watched America's Got Talent last night and a lot of people just didn't show up.  The fire guy was just schizophrenic and it wasn't the most dangerous thing I have ever seen or actually ever seen him do, he shouldn't have been called back.  the guy with the slight of hand card trick should have been there in the first place. 

I think Sexy painter just didn't want to be known as sexy painter.  She wanted to be more and felt demeaned by the character that she had created for herself.  Her real talent is painting and that is what she wants to be known for but painting isn't exciting.  The underwater stuff was painful to watch.  Maybe to spice things up she could have used sexy dancers as brushes. 

Are those two little girls sisters?  Family can usually harmonize and boy can they not.  The song was perfect for big sister but not so for little sister.  In the other rounds the songs were good for the little sister but not the big one. 

The two little break dancers were cute but cute don't cut it.  The RNG girls were doing great until the very end when the performance just died when it should have been hitting its climax.  RNG Girls, dance routines do not need a resolution.  The tap dancers tap danced and did so well, but I don't know if I would pay money to see it. 

The Kung fu guys looked like a dance troop and that is a bad thing.  Although the spear throw and catch was cool. 

The Virginia Tech guys stole the show.  I think they are going to win.  Airpocolypse rocked out and it is amazing how entertaining an air band can be.  You can't help but smile.  The hand whistler lady is surprisingly entertaining.  She needs back up dancers and lights and stuff though. 

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Legend of chun li

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 13, 2010 by Budd Black

I saw the Legend of Chun Li and didn't really care for it.  Can't say it was any good.  Full review is at SciFi Media.

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