blog

Goodmorning, Boston

I’m feeling a little empty today.

Why?

Well the reason is a bit silly-I have for the second time (through the power of Netflix), finished viewing all eleven seasons of Frasier, the Emmy Award winning television sit-com that is the spin-off of Cheers. For the longest time Cheers was indeed my favorite sit-com. However, Frasier has definitely stepped up to at least equal.

Why do I like Frasier so much?

Frasier (obviously the main character) is a doctor of psychiatry, and I’ve had an interest in that practice since Psych 101 in high school. The root to this interest is of course trying to figure out the enigma that is myself.

Frasier,  the show, takes place chronologically after the Cheers finale. After finalizing his divorce with his wife, Lilith (also a psychiatrist), and his private practice heading south, Frasier decided to leave Boston to return to his home town of Seattle, Washington and start over-As a talk-radio psychiatrist. There we’re introduced to his brother-Niles Crane (yet also a psychiatrist), his father, the ex-police detective-Martin Crane (whom Frasier has little in common with), Martin’s in-home physical therapist-Daphne Moon, and Frasier’s radio producer-Roz Doyle.   

The cast recently had a reunion.

Now what is it that I like so much?

First of all the cast is brilliant, they are very versatile, very able to pull off not only comedy and physical comedy, but pure drama when it’s called for. Even the side characters and guest stars were also well casted.

The writing of course definitely brought the best out of each actor with some ridiculous but believable situations. Frasier and Niles (and even Frasier’s ex-wife, Lilith) are extremely pompous and pretentious upperclassman, highly regarded psychiatrists, and yet both seem to suffer to some great degree from varying neuroses.  Their style, their socialite gravitas continually clashed with their father’s down to earth everyman persona-It’s often just comedy gold.

I’ve mentioned it before in a Facebook post, but one of my favorite dialogues from the show is:

FRASIER:

Er, Roz, listen, I’m going to the opera tonight.  You didn’t

happen to remember to bring my…

 ROZ:

Oh, your opera glasses!  I’m so sorry, they completely

slipped my mind.

 FRASIER:

I wouldn’t really mind, if you hadn’t borrowed them to ogle

that bodybuilder that moved in across the street.

 ROZ:

Hey, just once or twice.  It’s not like I copied his name off

his mailbox, so I could look up his number and call him while

he was in the shower, so I could watch him cross the room naked

to answer the phone in front of the picture window.  That would

be wrong.

 FRASIER:

Look, I want them back.  I refuse to squint through Pagliacci

while you’re trying to watch The Magic Flute!

Frasier and his sneckin metaphors-Smart, clever, edgy, annoying to just about everyone else in the cast-Love it! I do admittedly seem to share much of the Crane brothers taste in music, theater, and literature, and that definitely helps me identify with them.

On more personal matters-I definitely identify with the Crane brothers relationship to their patriarch, Martin, who lives with Frasier due to his handicap from a bullet to his hip, which had forced him into retirement from the police force. As I’ve stated, they have virtually nothing in common aside from their name and blood.

In the early seasons it is established that they don’t get along very well-Walking on eggshells, so to speak. It is very similar to my current relationship with my father. I can only hope it doesn’t take 11 years for acceptance.

I also do share Frasier’s lack of luck finding a suitable mate, or rather one that lasts-And it’s usually his fault for messing it up.

The show ends with Frasier transitioning to a new life and career in San Francisco after seeing that both his brother and father have successfully gotten married. He must have felt that his job was done, his presence wasn’t immediately needed, and so it was time to move off on his own-To seek the completeness that his brother and father have acquired.

The final scene shows his plane landing not in San Francisco, but in Chicago where he hopes to re-establish a relationship with a woman who left him in course of her own transition to start over.

It felt empty indeed-Especially in the fact that we’ll never know what will become of Frasier. And yet as the camera faded to black, his confident smile radiated and he does seem hopeful.

As for me… It’s time to roll television back 20 years and start over again.

With Cheers.

blog

human holiday 12/25/11

I think my cousin makes a lot of sense.

october is my monkey's paw

Christmas is not a Christian holiday; it’s a human holiday.

While I do not consider myself to be religious, I am spiritual, and I have a profound attachment to mortal miracles.  Whether Jesus is intended as our Savior or not, whether the bible is nonsnse or not, the fact remains that the Christmas story is one of hope and faith born in a climate of despair, poverty, and doubt.  The story of a frightened, confused, and physically uncomfortable mother-to-be.  The story of an ostracized, ridiculed, and impoverished father-to-be.  The story of simple people, and people of status, drawn together for a moment in the vast oceans of time–to facilitate the birth of one small, wrinkly, newborn naked baby boy; their belief and hope and will for what He would be superceded society, and rationality, and maybe even sanity.

I like to think the births of my children created such a…

View original post 110 more words

blog

hobbies

Time for some on-the-fly self analysis.

I used to be a pretty hardcore gamer. I used to be a car enthusiast. I used to be a computer geek. I used to be a comic book nerd. I used to be an electronic musician. I used to be a singer. I used to draw with pencil very well. I used to have all these interests, hobbies, practices, and more. What the fek happened?

I can easily defer to my lack of funding. After all, most of those hobbies require a substantial amount of money to keep up to date. I’m at the point where I’ve sold almost all the items/tools required to keep up-It is unfortunate, but was necessary to survive.

Seems my interests and hobbies have changed or adapted to my budget. I suppose it’s that way for everyone.

It’s more than funding tho. Or is it? I know I tend to have an addictive personality. If I find interest in something I pursue it with relentless vigor. Have to consciously hold myself back from certain things that I know can easily waste time and money.

Let’s take an MMO I had recently all but quit. It is called Vindictus. It is an online role-playing game, but at its core is an arcade action game, a beat-em-up. It is often anachronistic in look, but is medieval-Norse and fantasy based. I was instantly addicted to the gameplay, in fact I played it for 3 years. I can’t fathom how many hours I’ve spent on it. I still do play it once a week or so, just to feed my need for the gameplay-It is after all, free-to-play. Or is it?

Yes, you can indeed play Vindictus without spending real-life money. However that may inhibit the speed at which you can level-up and the power you can acquire. After all, everyone wants to be powerful, have instant power to make things easier, and of course to show off to other players. This is where it starts to get scary-

First of all, in order to be able to have access to newer items, you need to level your character by gaining experience points. There are real-money items that can be bought to double the amount of experience points you can get. These experience boosters have a limited time of use, and need to be purchased continually if you want to keep that rate of gain up.

The weapons, armor, and accessories you gain can be upgraded (which will your affect speed, strength, etc.). In order to upgrade you need to pay an in-game NPC (non-player-character) with in-game currency. The item will be successfully upgraded to certain point-From there it becomes a gamble for the item to succeed to it’s next tier or level. Keyword: Gamble.

Here’s the scary part-You are able to spend real life money on items that will not instantly upgrade your weapon/armor/accessory, but instead to protect them from resetting to their original statistics or being completely deleted. Again – Gambling. And it doesn’t stop there-

The game is visually stunning, or at least it was when it first started out. By current standards, Vindictus is sort of medium quality, but that is irrelevant. The point is you are able to customize the look of your character(s). There are various costumes to try out as you level up. You can pay real-life money to combined the stats of one item to the look of another.

You can also customize the colors of these costumes. One way to do that is to use the in-game random auto-dye booth with in-game-currency. For most the default auto-dye colors aren’t usually desired. You then have the optional to use real life money to purchase an item where you can gamble on an assortment of colors and hope the color you specifically seek is chosen.

I can site further uses of gambling real money in Vindictus, and I can tell you that I used them all. I don’t know how much money I’ve spent on the game in total, but over 3 years, it was in the hundreds.

The final straw that lead me to leave the game is when I lost my main weapon in an attempt to enhance. That weapon had at least $70 dollars invested into it. Once I lost that sword, my power, my speed, was immediately impaired, and I lost the ability to properly contribute in effectively damaging bosses. As a result I would be immediately cast out of parties based solely on my visible statistics, even tho I am a more than capable player skill-wise.

Add that to the fact that I make barely enough money to survive from my current job- I just no longer have nay desire to continue seriously in Vindictus, Free-to-play or otherwise. It is just not worth it anymore. There are also other interesting MMOs to look into now.

I don’t really like myself, nor the situation I am in. I often question myself as to whether it’s worth going on living or not. These events, these activities …these hobbies have at the very least distracted me from ending it all.

So what do I do now that I no longer have enough money or time to pursue these old interests?

Thankfully, reading is generally cheap. Thankfully, I spent enough money to procure the name for this blog, and I’m able to use it to vent my frustrations, to chronicle events, and explore myself. Thankfully, my aquarium and fish keeping isn’t overly expensive and time consuming. Thankfully, my continuing choice of Earl Grey tea is cheap and refillable at Starbucks, and that they have free net.

Thankfully, I have the few friends and relatives that I can continually confide in.

blog

Escape Plan (thoughts & review)

I attended to the early bird showing of Escape Plan yesterday morning. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the headline actors-So yeah, I was not expecting the most thought provoking movie of the century. I was surprised to find that I wasn’t completely wrong. It is definitely a male bro action movie, but with a hint of suspense and an unpredictable plot twist.

To summarize (without giving out the ending):

Ray Breslin (Stallone) makes a living from breaking out of state of the art prisons-Testing and reporting of any weaknesses in the systems. He has even written a book based on his discoveries and techniques.

Breslin is requested by the CIA to test out a new secret prison that is privately owned and under the radar. From the brutal abduction to his entrance to this prison affectionately called “The Tomb,” Breslin becomes aware of his betrayal and realizes he’s in fact imprisoned permanently. He quickly gains the trust of fellow inmate, Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), and they team up to plan an escape.

-end summary-

A couple notable scenes:

This is probably the best acting out of Schwarzenegger since Pumping Iron. In that early docu-drama that helped catapult his career and grow his awareness to the public, he was essentially playing himself.

There is a scene in Escape Plan where Rottmayer is trying to distract the evil Warden Hobbes (James Caviezel. Yes, Jesus!) while Breslin is attempting to do recon on a possible escape route. Arnold plays up the insanity of his tortured stay in solitary confinement by kneeling and pleading to the Warden who stood before him, and speaking the Lord’s Prayerin German.

The scene worked so well for two reasons-Arnold was very comfortable and confident acting and speaking in his native Austrian language, and of course for the irony in that he was praying to the actor who portrayed Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. There is also another point in the movie where Caviezel virtually denounces his former, dare I say iconic role.

It is also funny that these the two leads, Sly & Arnold, who have been action stars for 30 years, good friends and business partners for just as long, are now finally starring (billed) in a movie together …in their fekin senior years. Why couldn’t they do this earlier? As the 90s came and the need for big man muscle action movies started to dwindle down in interest, I speculate their team up should have happened then-The tail end of their prime. As a result, Escape Plan indeed features a fight between the both of them, but it’s very understated and quickly broken up. That’s a shame. If they had done this movie 15-20 years ago, that fight would have been …epic.

Additionally, I really wanted more screen time out of Sam Neill, who again plays a Doctor (as he did in one of my favorite sci-fi horror films). He is a very capable actor and his role should have been so much more.

Side note: One of the previews featured before the film itself was for the next installment in Marvel’s Thor franchise. The actor that plays Sly’s business partner in Escape Plan, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is questionably the original onscreen Thor.

Escape Plan definitely has it’s cliched action moments that were highly predictable between the two main actors. There are slow turn shots, one-liners, and Arnold grabbing a huge gun and terminating everyone on sight. I decided to watch the film at the early bird matinee 10:45am. That’s seven dollars. I feel the value there was just right and wouldn’t pay much more than that. Of course I’m sneck poor so, I usually go to the early bird showings anyway. Take that as you will.

If you’re not an action movie fan, you may best pass on viewing Escape Plan.

Instead you may get more out of this for free.

 

 

blog

day off to do list

Need to try and make the most of my time off. Here’s the plan for today.

  • try to relax, sneckhead
  • Capful Flourish Excel in the tank
  • Propagate wisteria, anacharis, and cardamine
  • Feed the fishies and crabs
  • order new/cheap v2135us battery
  • pay car insurance
  • eat
  • Get vitamins at green hell
  • Get new temp gauge and magnet scraper at petco
  • catch that new sly and arneh movie at 10am
  • go to gym
  • food
  • go to bux
  • try Trelby screenplay software
  • look into transcribing novel (in works) to Trelby 
  • try to relax sneckhead!
blog

late

Well ..sneck it all! I woke up late for work last night. Not sure if I slept through the alarm or didn’t adjust it appropriately. My current alarm is a Sony Xperia Play, no longer in use as a phone. In fact I bought it with a bad ESN. So… yeah.

Was supposed to be at work by 12am, but I awoke at 1:50am. I had gotten to sleep by 7-8pm, and supposedly set the alarm for 10pm as usual. So essentially, my internal clock kicked in as it usually does after 6 hours or so. Fek.

I threw some clothes on and got to green hell at 2:05am. Of course with the ladies blasting their Spanish radio station over the store PA, they didn’t hear me knocking at the entrance. It was about time for break, so about ten minutes later they finally noticed me knocking.

Surprisingly the night manager didn’t scold me as I was expecting. Point of fact there wasn’t much reference to it. I was told to get on what I was usually assigned to-And so I did. Everything went as normal. Since part of my section had been done, and since there wasn’t as much to stock (must have been a slow couple of sales days) I actually caught up.

By the end of the normal shift 4:30am (on Tuesdays & Fridays) everyone else went home; I was told to stay. Part of me really wanted go and take punishment by losing the work/pay (and well I still hate the job and wanted to get out of there). As it turned out, I was actually both surprised and impressed that the night manager kept me working.

Of course I still had to work it, and that I did. Finished off my sections and helped with a new section I had never done before. So I in effect got to try something new, which was nice, yet was also nerve racking.

The feckin’ glass section it was. I’m definitely not the most agile person in the world… far from it. I do weight lifting, and I have massive explosive power, but not as much endurance. I am also extremely clumsy, and the manager trusting me with a fragile substance like glass seemed like a gamble. My bit of OCD makes me overly careful, mix that with nervous clumsiness and you have a YouTube video waiting to happen.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the glass and plates were done without incident. Phew…

At the end of the shift I tried to apologize again for being late. The manager said not to worry-It happens. They had the options to send me home the moment I arrived, or with the rest of the crew, but it worked out that my help was needed to catch the store up anyway. I was informed that if I had no-called/no-showed then I would have gotten a write up.

So I guess I’m still employed. Situation normal.

Yet in the back of my mind, I really do wish I was let go.

I suppose I should go purchase a proper alarm clock….