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     Saturday May 08, 2004

I started this yesterday and worked on it until after midnight after finally managing to scrape together a few minutes to work on my much neglected site. I'm sure I will pay later for neglecting Julie instead...

As usual, the slew of deep thoughts that bombards me all day long has long since left the vicinity of my simple mind. I have tried, when I am able, to jot a note to myself when I am pondering something truly profound (in my tiny universe)... so I will see what notes I can scrounge together to try and create a coherent thought or two.

Easter was a few weeks ago and I had a revelation (this may be obvious to everyone else, but it was new to me) thought after overhearing my little cousin Alex's friend make a comment about candy and Lent. I have often wondered about the origins of the barrage of Easter candy on Easter morning. Here is the conclusion I came to: Catholic children are generally expected to forgo candy during Lent (the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter) and to reward their dilligence, they are bombarded with sweets on Easter moring. Sounds simple, but without the insight of a Catholic kid, I would have never seen it.

I have been to a couple of Padres baseball games this year at the new stadium, Petco Park, and this stadium makes game attendance a lot more fun. My seats have been on the field level for both games at it's amazing how close you feel to the game. I had planned on having some photos to share, but none of them really turned out. Maybe next time.

Another bit of information has come to me over the past few weeks. Cable rules for broadband Internet access, I currently have SBC DSL and I often lose Internet access multiple times in the span of a few hours, To regain access, I have to turn my modem off, wait a short period of time, and then turn it back on. If I leave my modem off during the day, it seems to have fewer probelms at night. I guess it's overheating. I never had that problem with cable. At least it's a little cheaper.

I helped a neighbor hook up their Wireless network stuff last week. That was my first exposure to the world of wireless networking. It was pretty cool. I considered doing it for my own computer, but there's no real pressing need for it yet. Maybe in a couple of years.

I found a bunch of pictures to add to my bio (High School and College IDs and pictures from Halloween at GE). I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and he informed me that he had read my oline bio and also commented that he had tried to skip all the details/pictures of my many girlfriends when he was reading it. I stopped to ponder the question of why were there so many photos of girls in my bio. Why not pictures of my closest male friends? Why not family pictures? I can tell you why in about 3 words. I'm a guy. The only pictures I kept throughout school were pictures of girls. I had no interest in photographics evidence of male friends. But a cute girl, now that's another matter altogether. So, now I'm old and what photographic evidence do I have to show for my life: pictures of girls I have known (and pictures of my kids, now that I'm a dad). The pictures should be in there shortly (if I can find the time).

I'm sure that everyone knows who Pat Tillman is, but if you are one of the current-events challenged out there, here's a clipping from the San Diego Union Tribune's sports section that will be informative. Since this appeared I have also read about other professional athletes and other morons making disparaging remarks about the sacrifice this great man, a hero any way I look at it, made. Read and decide for yourself.

I'm only going to mention a couple of movies that I have seen recently: Mean Girls and 13 Going on 30.

I have also managed to do a little reading in the past few weeks and have managed to keep track of some of the funny links I have stumbled across.

I hav managed to obtain a few new Lord of the Rings toys. I now have the complete fellowship (with the acquisition of Boromir), an aged Bilbo, a third (or fourth, possibly) Aragorn (the second with a horse), and a Haradrim archer. I'm such a geek.

As for changes to the site, there are a few new drawings/sketches on the Downloads/My Drawings pages and I have added a few images to my bio page. I have added a couple of pictures from Emeli's birthday dinner at Chuck E Cheese, too. There is also a completely browser based (PHP) "Instant Messenger" type program in the works.


13 Going on 30
I went and saw this movie becasue Julie is, for some reason, a huge Jennifer Garner fan. I thought it looked okay from the previews (sort of like a female-centric version of Big), so I consented to be dragged to this chick-flick. Jennifer Garner is one of those slighly-odd looking women that is, somehow, still quite attractive. Uma Thurman is alos in this category. But Jennifer Garner also possesses the naive innnocence that made her believable in the role of a 13 year old girl in a 30 year old woman's body. Mark Ruffalo was very likeable as her once all grown up best friend love-interest. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments and the moral was quite different from Big's, but still a moral. Instead of the "enjoy your childhood while you can" lesson that was learned by Tom Hnahs in Big, you get the "don't abuse and mistreat your true friends to be popular." A typical happy ending. Still a worthy couple of hourse wasted, though.

Mean Girls
Julie and I went to the theatre intending to see Envy (the Jack Black / Ben Stiller mvie), but ended up seeing Mean Girls instead (due to the movie start times). I thought this one looked funny and I had read good things about it in the newspaper, but Julie was't all that excited about going. I thought Lindsay Lohan looked too old to be a teenager in Freaky Friday, so I was kinda surprised that she would be the central teen figure in this movie (she is actually only 18 this year, so she just seems older that she really is, I guess). Lacey Chabert was one of the "plastics" (the group of popular girls that all the other kids feared and worshipped) and looked a lot younger than her 22 years. The main "plastic" was Rachel McAdams and was the least attractive of the 4 central female characters, funily enough. The third "plastic", Amanda Seyfried, is a soap opera actress in her first movie role and bears, in my mind, a striking resemblance to a blonde Christina Ricci. She is also really a teenager. Tina Fey, the writer of this comedy, was also quite effective as the "sensitive" teacher who reins in the "mean" girls and makes them see the light.


Tolkien Miscellany
I finally finished, for the most part--after weeks on unenthusiastic reading, this book. I did read all of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but skipped The Pearl and Sir Orfeo due to a lack, at that point, of interest in medieval Anglo-Saxon literature. The glimpses into medieval life were educational, as were the preface and appendices with their abundance of untranslated samples of the original text (it amazes me that anyone could make any sense of the cryptic text). The section on alliteration was informative for about 10 pages and then I had to move on. I had reached my limit. One other thought that came from the On Fairy Stories essay: the reason that the Christ figure has such strong appeal to so many is the dream of immortality. Tolkien was a devout Catholic, so I don't think he was professing atheism, but the thought was interesting nevertheless. This book was a challenge (and I can't honestly say I read the whole thing), but was quite educational.

The Last Juror
I devoured this book in about four days which is pretty quick, since I rarely find any quite time to read anymore. I'm not real sure what the appeal is with John Grisham's books, but when I start one, I read it with every spare moment until I reach the end and feel the inevitable disappointment with reaching the end. The characters in John Grisham's books seem so real, so vivid, that it's easy to become invested in the short span of their lives that catch a glimpse of. Terry Pratchett's books are much the same. Here's a synopsis of this book: a young guy from the urban south goes to a yankee schol (in NY) and drops out before graduating to folow his newly acquired dream of getting rich quick by becoming a small town newspaper magnate in the late 60s. Life ensues and the scheme turns into a passion for the work. Of course, the courtroom is a major scene of the action and lawyers play a large part in the story. My misgivings for the main character (not a model citizen, by any means) eventually give way as events unfold.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Harry Potter books are loads of fun. The characters are far too young for me to relate personally with, unlike most of John Grisham's or Terry Pratchett's characters, but the stories are well written enough to keep me coming back for more. This is good escapist fiction for both kids and adults. I can't think of anything specific to say about this book (no sense detailing the plot: the movie has been out forever and the book even longer). I'm about halfway through the third installment of Harry Potter and will be done long before the movie is released in June.

 Funy Stuff

I stumbled across another web site created by a sarcastic, sometimes mean-spirited, yet quite often very humorous guy: Pork Tornado (the guy you hate to love). I'm not sure where he's from (his site is a "web diary" sponsored by diaryland, so he could be anywhere), but most of his observations are good clean fun. A word of warning: he does throw in a bit of irreverance and profanity on occasion. This was the link that started me on the path to Pork Tornado enlightenment. If you're not a fan of Maddox and the "Best page in the universe", you probably won't think much of Pork Tornado.

This is an ebay auction that could have been done by either Maddox or Pork Tornado. I'm not sure how much longer eBay will leave this listing, so you had better hurry over soon if you want a good laugh before it's too late. Basically, for those of you who wait too long to go look at the link, it's an auction for a wedding dress. An excerpt from his lisiting: "I found my ex-wife's wedding dress in the attic when I moved. She took the $4000 engagement ring but left the dress. I was actually going to have a dress burning party when the divorce became final, but my sister talked me out of it. She said, 'Thatís such a gorgeous dress. Some lucky girl would be glad to have it. You should sell it on EBay. At least get something back for it.' So, this is what Iím doing..."

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© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
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