Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life Shards: Volume 1

In this ongoing series I'll post short comments that I say, type, or hear during everyday life that seem like a profound, and possibly incomplete and cryptic, description of how my life is going. Here is today's offering;

"Yeah Jim, I had a nice conversation with my Muay Thai instructor about beard brushing the other day. It seems quite helpful, certainly worth a try."
-Adam Samons

Saturday, February 26, 2011

UFC 127 Main Even Pick Posted…Just Because

I want to like John Fitch, I really do. When we watched UFC 87 at Angelina’s place and he took 25 minutes of ass whupp’n from GSP but just refused to die he earned a ton of respect from me. Also, the man perfectly times his walk in to Johnny Cash’s Rusty Cage so that he always walks into the Octagon as the guitar solo hits. But since then he’s been a bit of a boring decision machine.

As for BJ, I never feel 100% confident picking Penn because you never know when he’s going to come into a fight all disinterested and looking like he’d rather be ordering up fries at the Hilo BK. When he’s dialed in I think he takes this fight 75% of the time. So my pick comes down to whether I think BJ will care or not.

I’m going to have to go with Penn in a decision because he’s got better hands and good enough take down defense to eek out a close decision. (And yes, I do realize my reasoning for the pick actually didn’t have anything to do with the stuff I had written up until that last paragraph. I guess I was going for more of a surprise ending than a well formulated term paper approach with this comment)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Make the Call

(Not the team I'd pick for a playground pickup game)
Caltech broke their 310 game conference losing streak last night. Their last conference win? 26 years ago. Yeah, they look happy in the pictures, but I'm still not sure if this is a moving story of the triumph of the human spirit or just really depressing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Impressionist Painting or Tourist Photos?

From the “I wish I had thought of that great art project” folder comes this Flavorwire story about Corinne Vionnet, a Swiss photographer who “layered between 200 to 300 tourist-taken shots of some of the world’s most famous landmarks to create what look like blurry, Impressionist paintings.

Here’s a link to her project’s site: Photo Opportunities/

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"As if Every Thought that Tumbles Through Your Head was so Clever it Would be a Crime for it Not to be Shared."


(Yeah, it's that good)

Saw The Social Network last night. This isn't news to anybody, but this movie is fantastic. The dialog hits you at a breakneck speed and is a challenge well worth accepting.

At least to me this movie is a tale of old money versus new money. A story of how a group of stately "Harvard Men" simply can't comprehend, nor properly react to, an outsider geek getting over on them.

In one of the movie's most telling exchanges a young Mark Zuckerburg is chided by his business partner, Eduardo, over having potential facebook interns compete for their positions in a competition that equal part drinking game and hacking competition. Mark responds that this competition is at least as relevant as having to care for a chicken, a task Eduardo has been saddled with by his prestigious "finals club" for which he is pledging.

This kind of old world tradition v. new economy efficiency rings throughout the movie and is an inspiration to anyone who hopes to create their own enterprise. A certain DVD purchase for me once I can get around to it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Watch Black Swan, It's Great

Director Darren Aronofsky’s last film before Black Swan was 2008’s the Wrestler, his brilliant look into the life of an aging professional wrestler. On the surface the subject matter of pro wrestling and ballet couldn’t seem to be farther apart, but there are some similarities in the way Aronofsky handles both movie’s themes. These similarities combined, among other things, with Aronofsky’s fantastic ability to bring you into the mind of a person descending into madness make Black Swan a very entertaining 108 minutes.

Natalie Portman plays Nina, a brilliant but na├»ve ballerina is going for the lead role in a new production Swan Lake where the lead will be expected to pull double duty by playing the roles of both Black and White Swan. Nina’s sheltered existence and constant striving for technical precision as a dancer make her a perfect fit for the innocent role of the White Swan. However after being cast in the lead she is forced to find a more impulsive, sensual, and impulsive side to herself to fulfill the Black Swan role.

This transition runs so opposed to the world Nina knows that it wears away at her sanity. Just like Randy “The Ram” Robinson in the Wrestler trying to adjust to normal life where he is no longer cheered by thousands the feelings of awkwardness and even cognitive dissonance are palpable as you watch Nina find her more impulsive side. The feeling is especially pronounced when Lilly, a free spirited fellow ballerina played by Mila Kunis, is on screen.

Without giving away too much of the story away before you set foot in the theater I’ll also say that you should watch for how Aronofsky uses the thematic underpinnings of Swan Lake itself, especially in the plot’s resolution.

Very quick note: I love how the Wrestler and Black Swan deal with mental demands of characters who’s lives completely revolve around physical performance. This seems to be a niche where Aronofsky is peerless.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Observations

2 quick observations from listening to a workout mix tape I made years ago that happens to have some wrestling intros on it:

1) No matter what you are doing, or where you are, when the Ultimate Warrior's music comes on it's almost impossibly hard not to run full speed towards the first rope like object and shake it.
2) Even if you don't feel awkward listening to and liking Chris Benoit's old intro you'll probably still feel kind of awkward about not feeling awkward.