Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i think it's time for me to start blogging again.

Well I suppose I'm back to the blog.
I'm unemployed (semi-employed) and I watch a lot of history channel. Why is it that we continue to be taught that Pyramids were tombs for Pharoahs, when the mummy of a Pharoah has never been found in a Pyramid? Sorry, that was on my mind this minute. Further, how can they claim that Djedefre built this giant structure during the period of his rule, that was only 8 years. it took the mormons 40 years to build the Salt Lake temple. The Great Pyramid build by Khufu (Cheops) in Giza, a mere five miles away took 20 years to build and even that is an inexplicable feat. And somehow Djedefre built his pyramid in 8 or less?? I don't think so.

I'm engaged now. I asked Misty to marry me on Saturday 12 December 2009. After wandering through Ikea for a while I surprised Misty with a nighttime trip to Hogle Zoo. As it is Christmas time, I knew that they would have Christmas lights up and that it would be nice to walk around in the lights and to see some of the animals (the Tigers were awesome!). At the end of the night we rode the carousel that they have there. I asked Misty if she preferred to ride the individual animals (that go up and down) or on the bench. I recommended the bench so that I could ask her to marry me on the carousel, but she preferred the animals. I agreed to ride the animals, because in reality that is more fun. So we rode the carousel, and then stepped off. I suggested that we sit on a bench near the Carousel in order to watch it go around once more. we sat on a bench at the edge of the carousel and watched as it began to circle again. As we watched, I turned on the bench in order to face Misty and removed the ring from my pocket handing it to Misty. I asked if she would be willing to marry me. She hugged me and cried for a bit. Eventually I had to inquire if that was an acceptance. She affirmed that it was, and the rest is history.
I'm a very lucky boy. Misty supports me in a way that few (if any) ever have. She calls me on my b.s. when i need it and surprises me frequently with her intelligence, her common sense (that i sometimes lack), her sense of humour, her kindness, and her willingness to be kind and serve others. She helps me to be a better, happier person- even when it's not the easiest or most comfortable option for me. I can go on, but i won't. This blog post is probably sappy enough already.

stay tuned for future blog updates, i'll try to do better.
2009 has been a very good year for me, i wish i had blogged more during it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

while i'm blogging...

i wish i could remind the world that there is only ONE Ronaldo.



THIS (above) is Ronaldo. Top world cup goal scorer. Phenomenon, weird pervert or not.


This is Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7, floppy, or anything else you would like to call him.

But until he has himself a couple of world cups and the record for top world cup goal scorer, RONALDO Fenômeno will still be on top, and C.Ronaldo will still just be opening clothing stores in portugal, wrecking ferraris, and complaining about how picked on he is.

Today.

I spent last night in a rural area outside bethlehem called Beit Sahur (sounds like Bait (as in fishing bait) Saw-hooor). The landscape was lovely and i was just about as far as possible from actually civilization. It was really nice.
I stayed in what seemed to me to be a strange hippy squat. It's a permaculture farm where the people living there were trying to demonstrate sustainable living practices when it comes to food, water, waste, recycling, etc. It's a nice goal. But a hostel/hotel it is not.
I imagine that walking into this place is what it must feel like for a parent to walk into their child's college housing after they've gotten into smoking pot. There were animals that walked in and out of the house, which at times seemed really quaint and cool, and at other times seemed to be a comment on the mindset of the people who lived there. The dog slept on the couch, it even used a pillow. There was a box full of baby chicks near the window. Bowls of cat food sat on the desk next to a wireless router and a phone/fax machine.
My bank froze my accounts assuming that my card had been stolen and somehow popped up in israel. I suppose im grateful for the security, but it always comes a week after i travel. On top of that it means that i'm suppose to inform my bank of my every move. I dont like that so much. i'm not going to go into my frustrations with automated systems, but i assume everyone has some experience with that.
I paid my night's stay at the squat, which left me with 40 shekels with which to find my way back to jerusalem, and eventually to nazareth. i got a bus which bypasses the "security wall" (which as you can tell is extremely efficient due to the fact that i can bypass it with a bus) and arrived back in jerusalem. On the bus ride i met a couple from newcastle who works with a charity to help the impoverished youth of Israel/Palestine to get educations. He was very nice. I wanted to ask for a job, but it was obviously wasn't that kind of organization (the kind that has jobs for people). My favorite line from the conversations was "We help any poor child: Christian, Jew, Muslim, Israeli, Palestinian, anyone. There just aren't any poor Israeli Jews. So we help Palestinians."
I went back to the cave hostel and used the internet to sort out my banking issue and الحمد للله everything is back to normal. I then came to the bus station to get my bus to nazareth. I was here at roughly 12 i think, and my bus doesn't leave until 4. I could easily have gone out and walked jerusalem, but i have my every possession on my back. So walking around like a turtle with my home on my back didn't seem like the most appealing option. Add to that the fact that i would have to pass through security to get into the bus station again, and i decided that chilling in the bus terminal for a few hours was doable. So hear i am. Writing a blog over a back drop of Fergie, Amy Winehouse, and the guttural sounds of Hebrew. From where i am sitting i can count 8 m-16 (or some equivalent) machine guns, and am fully aware that there are countless others in this building. The soldiers here tote them around as if they were born with them. They treat them like if you were to ask them about their gun the response you would get would be "what gun? oh you mean this ol' thing? shux" The occupation of Palestine is very real, and worse than i had imagined. And i had imagined things being pretty bad.
anyway, there's an update. Tonite: Arsenal vs. Villareal in the champions league quarter finals. Come on you Reds. Up the Arsenal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Game One: RSL vs. SSFC

I have a lot of faith in RSL's ability to win this weekend.
Giving credit where credit is due, Montero has quality. Good skills on the ball, good fundamentals when shooting. But having watched and rewatched the goals from Seattle's 3-0 thumping of RBNY, I am convinced that it was more a case of NY being crap than it was of Seattle being good. NY's back 4 were consistently out of position and losing Seattle's players while their midfield stood idly, too attack minded to think about throwing out a tackle. I'm not saying this was necessarily the theme for the game, but if I were i think i could make a decent case for it. Here it is: THREE-nil.
If you watch the goals you will notice that there are in 2 out of the 3 cases clumps of white jerseys looking confused as the ball gets pushed off to a solitary Seattle player. The third goal was created primarily by Petke's mediocre first touch and his attempt to be cheeky on the ball.
So, bottom line- bad defense cost RBNY their match.
As far as Seattle's defense is concerned there wasn't much to analyze as NY's attacking was almost nonexistent. The best chance of the match was a strike from outside the 18 yrd box. It seemed that Seattle defended with numbers, but were semi complacent in keeping the defensive line high enough to pressure shots from range. The next best shot was created by a decent long ball, a Seattle defender who failed to clear the ball, and some fight from Kandji. However, the chance was easily snuffed out, having been shot directly at the keeper, who had his angles covered and was precisely where he needed to be. Seattle's defense looked pretty rudimentary on the corners, though poor delivery, and lack of NY players in the box make that difficult to assess. On top of that with Casey Keller in goal, the delivery on corners is going to have to be immaculate.

RSL's keys to the match.
Our back line. I have real faith in the RSL defense. Nick Rimando has shown time and time again that despite his height he's solid in goal. Borchers and Olave are both tall commanding center backs with good ability to move the ball. Very defensively minded. And that's what the rest of MLS is really lacking (not to say that there aren't some). Borchers needs to be careful with his back passes. Wingert has very few errors defensively that i can recall. Tony Beltran is a mystery to me, so I'm crossing my fingers. I really think that our defense will keep out the majority of Seattle's attacking threat.
Offensively i think the man of the match will be our man Jave Morales... not that that's a real stretch of the imagination. His ability to find the right pass and take shots from distance, testing the keeper, will make a big difference in the match.
Further, i would vote to have Mathis in at the secondary striker role, leaving Robbie to come in as a super sub with fresh legs. Mathis has undeniable skill in making space for himself and has a lazer of a shot. Fast or not, Mathis has a spot in our attack, even if the spot doesn't last 90 minutes.
Arsenal legend Freddie Ljunberg. In other matches i hope the best for him, but not against RSL. His main strength is running off the ball, and finding himself in the right position. At arsenal he had the luxury of getting service from the likes of Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, among others. i dunno that he'll have the same luck at Seattle, leaving him to make his own chances, of which he is definitely capable. Kyle needs to keep his wits about him in the holding role and make sure than Freddie doesn't have the space or the freedom to make runs off the ball. Kyle also needs to be willing to put in some hefty tackles and really learn a thing or two from Kovalenko (Crazy Charley).
That's my assessment of the match. we'll see if i'm as smart as i think i am on saturday.

Come on you Royals.
Oh. and if you missed it, here's this...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In addition...

this article could be applied to my last blog about comics and film...

http://blog.newsarama.com/2009/02/09/mr-sequential-presents-motion-comics-comics/

it explains a little bit about reader participation in comics and how it is taken away from them in other media. it isn't directly related but it is an interesting look at how people in comics are looking to expand comics, while keeping the attribute of sequential narrative that make it great.
this also contributes to the ideas of online comics, and how motion comics are not comics...i really liked this one...

http://balak01.deviantart.com/art/about-DIGITAL-COMICS-111966969

Friday, January 30, 2009

Who's watching the Watchmen?

I'm sure I will be seeing the upcoming film adaptation of Watchmen.It is far too enticing for me to be able to ignore. I have, to a certain extent, enjoyed seeing the trailers and film stills from the movie. It has been interesting and fun to see the images from the book brought to life.
However, if I could, I would go back in time and prevent the movie from being made. I've said this on various occasions to various people and am always asked why I would do such a thing. So, here are my reasons! (Many of these reasons may come off as being slightly self-righteous or sentimental, but when you've spent as much time and money on comics as i have you can feel a little bit of righteous indignation or emotional strain about the subject of your passion)

Even the best film adaptations of comic books are poor substitutes for the comic book upon which they are based (the only exception i can think of is Sin City, which is nearly an exact replica of the book). The original fans of the comic book have subconsciously adapted to the influx of Hollywood interest in comics. The most we can hope for is not a good adaptation of the comic, but that whatever Hollywood decides to pass off as an adaptation will be a good film. There have been many good films. I have liked many of them. This being said, none of them have ever been able to match the scope of wonder or the fantastic nature of a comic book.

If you've read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, or any other book on comic book theory (yes it exists), then you know that comics only function because of a certain amount of mental participation on the part of the reader. As such, comics provide the ingredients that your mind needs to create the story. Your mind creates the action that links what may often appear to be unrelated images. It is not a straightforward story-telling style like film, or arguably even prose. I cannot sit in front of a comic for a few hours and allow it to tell me a story and lead me through the plot until i reach the conclusion. Instead i have to participate with the story, and provide it with the energy it needs to tell the story. This lack of participation on the part of the movie viewer alters the very nature and feeling of the story, until the connection between the comic and the film is superficial at best.

Further, comics have no budget, no sound effects, no special effects team, no actors. In other words, comics have no limitations. If you can imagine it you can make it into a comic book. The same cannot be said of film. Subsequently, comics are often changed drastically in order to facilitate the making of a movie. I won't go into details, but one part of Watchmen has been altered entirely because what happens in the comic "just wouldn't work in a movie." As such, the film adaptations of comics water down the imaginative qualities of the original creation, leaving us too often with more high budget action movies (obs. I love high budget action movies, but not when it rides the reputation of a comic book to its grave. Case in point: Wanted).

Watchmen is such an intricate and context specific comic that any film creation of it will invariably lack the significance of the comic. As we have seen already by the removal of "Tales of the Black Freighter," and the missing plot point I mentioned above, among other things, the nature of Watchmen and it's story telling is too layered for a 2 to 3 hour film to do justice to.

Contextually, Watchmen came about as a paradigm shift in comics. The comics of the Silver age had all been awash by bright colors and 4 colour half-tone printing. The characters were often 2 dimensional do-gooders who had lost any depth of character and been emasculated by the self-imposed comic code. Watchmen, along with a few others, shifted the focus of comics away from the flat stories of meaningless vigilantes and decided instead to focus on characters, tone and theme the same as any other form of literature would. It was, in essence, the deconstruction, of the superhero. This post-modern (yipes...sorry guys, grad school) approach to superheroes is what made Watchmen revolutionary and important to comics. Will that be the case with film? No.

Further, Alan Moore, the CREATOR of Watchmen, doesn't want it made. As someone who aspires to write comics, I can't help but sympathize and side with him. Hollywood has already ruined some of his other works. They turned V into a crusader for democracy instead of the hellbent anarchist he was (In Moore's own words, V was "specifically about things like fascism and anarchy. Those words, 'fascism' and 'anarchy,' occur nowhere in the film. It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country"). They made such a mess of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that its not even worth talking about. From Hell was a weak attempt at translating the comic to film. Alan Moore's genius (yes, i feel justified in saying that he is a genius of the comics artform, and there are not many i would say that about) has been exploited and abused so many times, that he has asked for his name to be removed from the films based on his work, and the comics themselves. I can't imagine dedicating myself to my work and then being so repulsed by how they were treated as to want my name removed from them. Sad. In reference to Watchmen, Moore has stated "There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can't." And yet, that will be disregarded and made into another big-deal comic movie.

As a comic fan, I am tired of hollywood leaving its muddy footprint in comics while the comics industry is slowly dwindling and breaking down under the current economic conditions. I don't want to buy a comic just because it has Milo Ventimgilililila's name on it. I don't want the latest issue of the Jenna Jameson comic. I don't care to read Nick Cage and his son's comic. And on the other side of the coin, I'm tired of seeing my favorite character ruined by Ben Affleck. Im tired of directors treating comics like they are just another piece of campy kitsch that should have "BOOM!" and "SLAM!" all over it. Watchmen is not just another comic book. Watchmen is the masterpiece of comic books. It is our magnum opus. It is the great hope for all comic nerds that someday comics will be respected as a legitimate art form, and perhaps even economically viable. Instead, in recent years, we have only been reassured that comics only matter insomuch as they can provide fodder for big budget, poorly made, summer blockbuster films, and merchandising rights (for example the prequel video game that is already being made (or is made? i dunno) BARF). I may try and fist fight every douchebag i see dressed as Rorschach this halloween. (yes, im aware that half of my friends probably will.) Seeing bad variations on the joker last halloween made me just about lose my mind.

Those are my main thoughts about it. I think that's about it anyway, im tired and can't think of anything more.

They are all probably selfish reasons, but i'm ok with that. Watchmen is something special to me, and will continue to be after this movie is forgotten (go ahead: "so what's the problem if it isn't going to effect how you feel about it?!" eff you). None of them are very pragmatic, but im not interested in pragmatism right now. And like i said- will i see the movie? probably.

Please feel free to argue any point you want. I feel like i know all the counter arguments, but i'd like to see if something new comes up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jung.

"The demand made by the imitatio Christi -- that we should follow the ideal and seek to become like it -- ought logically to have the result of developing and exalting the inner man. In actual fact, however, the ideal has been turned by superficial and formalistically-minded believers into an external object of worship, and it is precisely this veneration for the object that prevents it from reaching down into the depths of the psyche and giving the latter a wholeness in keeping with the ideal. Accordingly the divine mediator stands outside as an image, while man remains fragmentary and untouched in the deepest part of him. Christ can indeed be imitated even to the point of stigmatization without the imitator coming anywhere near the ideal of its meaning. For it is not a question of an imitation that leaves a man unchanged and makes him into a mere artifact, but of realizing the ideal on one's own account --Deo concedente-- in one's own individual life. We must not forget, however, that even a mistaken imitation may sometimes involve a tremendous moral effort which has all the merits of a total surrender to some supreme value, even though the real goal may never be reached and the value is represented externally. It is conceivable that by virtue of this total effort a man may even catch a fleeting glimpse of his wholeness, accompanied by the feeling of grace that always characterizes this experience.
If the supreme value (Christ) and the supreme negation (sin) are outside, then the soul is void: its highest and lowest are missing."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If I were Arsene...

It's time for me to talk about soccer on my blog again...
January Transfer Window is upon us once again and Arsenal is facing real deficits in the squad. Fans have high hopes for signings that will plug the wholes and keep Arsenal from leaking goals like they have been for the first half of the season. Truth be told, i think every Arsenal fan knows that we are not going to get the signings we want. Arsene has a plan and he's sticking to it, though at the current moment, it looks as though he is doing so to the detriment of the club. If Arsenal doesn't come in at least 4th place...well, i dunno. People will be really really angry. We will lose out on Champions League play and it will probably do real financial detriment to the club. With 5 losses on the season the club is already finding it slightly more difficult to fill the stadium for every match. The club's poor form in partnership with the economic downturn felt world wide (if i hear the phrase 'credit crunch' one more time im going to lose it) makes it difficult for anyone to want to shell out more or less 50 quid to go see their team lose or draw a match they should easily win. As one of England's 'Big Four' it is not out of line for fans to expect that Arsenal wins EVERY game. Granted, it's not going to happen. But as one of Britain's most prominent team there is no other team in the league that should intimidate us; we should never enter a game thinking "well, let's shoot for a draw".
Anyway, if I were Arsene during this transfer window who would I buy?
Our most major concerns are, as every Arsenal fan knows, a central defender and a defensive midfielder. With Cesc's injury we should also be looking for someone to step up and fill the role of creative midfielder. There is also talk of wanting a secondary striker, it may be superfluous, but having a strong attack force is never bad.
I think two of these positions (maybe three) can be solved with a single purchase. Podolski. yes, he is a dick. but that's what arsenal needs right now, a real battler. Oh, and he's inexpensive (valued at 9.5? CHEAP)
For Germany/Bayern Munich he plays left midfield or secondary striker. There's no question the kid is good. He would score goals for us. I would buy him, and place him on the left in the midfield. This would free Nasri up to become the centrally positioned creative midfielder that he really is (i think Podolski and Nasri are cut from the same 'i've got heaps of talent, and i know it' cloth). This would force Diaby, Denilson, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, and whoever else to compete for the defensive midfielder role. They should be selected NOT on account of their performance in training. But on their defensive track record. Diaby keeps talking about wanting to be an offensive piece, well pal, that's not what we need right now. If you REALLY want to be helpful, learn how to time a tackle and win the ball instead of your current role of losing the ball and short passes resulting in lost balls and injuries. I think Ramsey has the right kind of attitude and spark to fill the defensive role, but instead we are grooming him to be Cesc part II. That's great that he can pick the right pass and has great vision. Those are two of the kids NATURAL talents. Now imbue him with the ability to run NON-STOP (a la Flamini) and tackle, and you would have the most valuable midfielder in the world.
If we were to buy Arshavin (and let's face it, we're buying Arshavin) and picked up Podolski as well our attacking would be second to none.
Defending, i have less of an opinion on. I feel as though the main problem is that our defenders don't communicate and cannot defend together. That can be fixed. Or if you want to throw in Upson. Go for it. But for the most part i think that our defense can be improved a lot by making them have a slumber party and stop treating each other like dicks.

Friday, January 2, 2009

it's been a while...

in what my mother would consider "avoidance behavior" (doing things to avoid the responsible things you have to do) i've been looking through old emails. i never throw anything away so there's lots of old weird stuff in there. There's stuff that makes me laugh, stuff that makes me cry, stuff i wish i didn't remember etc. etc.
I've encountered two emails that made me laugh/made me wonder what made me think i was cut out for grad school. i thought you might like to see them and laugh too.
#1 (after having been arrested)

Hi.
This is Joshua Everett from the Political Science 357 class. I'm
afraid I won't be able to make it to class tomorrow as I have to spend
the morning in court. I don't know how long I will be in court, but I
can either email you the paper in the afternoon, or bring a printed
copy on Wednesday, however you prefer. Just let me know, and I will do
my best to oblige.
Thank you so much.
Joshua Everett


response:

Wed is fine since that's when it's due.


oh jeez.
#2
My name is Joshua Everett and I'm in your Book of Mormon 122h (sec 91)
class. We just got our tests back yesterday, and I encountered a
problem with mine. I have no idea how it happened, and i feel somewhat
sheepish about it, but somehow when taking the test I missed the
entire back page. I suppose that somehow it must have stuck together
or i just was oblivious to it's existence. Subsequently I missed an
extra 50 points on the test. Is there anyway I can fix this? Maybe
something I can do to make up that 50 points? I would be pretty bummed
if my grade were affected so heavily by a case of human error.
If there is anything I can do, please let me know. I'd be more than
happy to do it.


Seriously josh, you missed the entire back page?!
more will probably follow soon.