Thursday, January 29, 2009

Twenty Seven Is A Good Number, Right?

  1. I love Japanese cinema.  I haven't seen nearly as much as I would like, but Akira Kurosawa is one of my top five all time favorite directors.
  2. When I go on long drives, I listen to podcasts.  Usually Garrison Keilor giving the news from Lake Wobegone, or more recently, You Look Nice Today.
  3. The main reason I like Huey Lewis and the News, John Cougar Mellencamp, Chicago, and The Doobie Brothers today is because that's what my dad always had playing in the car when I was younger.
  4. People talk to me about my height at least once a day.
  5. I was suspended twice.  Once in third grade for lighting fireworks on the playground with my friend Billy.  I told the truth and didn't get in trouble.  The second time was Sophomore year of high school.  I threw a drumstick at another student during percussion ensemble class.  My teacher called it hazing.  The same day, I was elected Student Body Secretary/Treasurer.  I was also supposed to play the drums in the dress rehearsal for the school musical "Blood Brothers" that night, but wasn't allowed.  I wasn't the first person to miss a performance though.  The lead actress in the same musical was suspended the day before when she was caught "with" a boy in the choir room loft. An alumni drama student learned the lines in one day and took her part.
  6. The only bone I've broken in my body is my left ring finger, which I broke playing basketball.  I have dislocated my right shoulder three times though.  The first time cliff jumping in Estacada, the second snowboarding on Mt. Hood, and the third throwing a dodgeball while at a summer camp in Montana.
  7. I've only attended 4 schools my entire life.  King elementary school, Gardiner Middle School, and Oregon City High School, all in Oregon City, and NNU.
  8. The first movie I saw in the theater was The Passion of the Christ. I was 18.
  9. The earliest memory I can recall took place when I was 2 years and 3 months old. I was sitting in the parking lot of Spicer Brothers Produce right before it opened on April 20, 1988, watching my aunt cindy paint the side of the building.
  10. When I was young, my favorite song was Waterfalls by TLC. When I was even younger, I loved Walking In Memphis by Bruce Springsteen. When it came on the radio in the house, I would run over and sit on the floor 2 feet away, listening to the whole song. Once I hadn’t finished changing my pants when my brother yelled across the house to tell me that the song was on the radio again. With my pants half on, I ran, tripped over my pants and fell down on the ground in front of the radio, where I stayed until the song had finished.
  11. I flew to Oakland by myself when people were still allowed to greet you at the gate. My grandparents were waiting there. My grandpa took me to a Golden State Warriors game, just like I asked him to in a letter I wrote him a week earlier. My grandma took me to her sisters house, and I held my breath through a tunnel that was a mile long. Later, we saw the sea lions at Pier 39.  It's one of my favorite memories of my grandfather, who died 6 and a half years ago.
  12. My grandma helped my hunger for books.  She's to blame for getting me started on Harry Potter.
  13. Once, my dad took me to breakfast at a local diner at 6 in the morning before elementary school. That was the first time I had a pancake that was the size of a plate.
  14. The first true guilt I felt was when I lied to my mom when I was in the third grade. I had rode my bike to the large forested ditch that was behind my neighbor’s house. They were making flamethrowers with aerosol cans and lighters. They wanted me to come down to the bottom, but I knew what they were doing was dangerous, and the hill was steep. I went part of the way and I decided to leave, but I fell in the mud climbing back up the steep hill. I got on my back and rode home as fast as I could. When I got home, my mom came to the door and saw me covered in dirt. I started to cry and told her that I had fallen off of my bike. I have never told her the truth.
  15. Many people may not like to be called while they are sleeping.  I actually have my phone just a foot from my head at night in hopes that someone might call to see what I'm doing. This has nothing to do with desperation to hang out with people, I just know that if I get a phone call at three in the morning, it's not going to be boring.  And I will gladly get up and go to Sharis for a cup of coffee.
  16. Some of my life goals are: To play a concert at Madison Square Garden, to kiss a girl on the eiffel tower, to see an NHL game in every home arena, to have coffee with a famous author, to be in a band/go into business with my brother, to create a masterpiece, to visit my second cousin in New Zealand, to go on a backpacking trip with my brother, dad, and grandpa, to take my grandson on a backpacking trip when I'm a grandfather, to buy a nice suit, like a nice suit, and to own an NBA team, or at least be a season ticket holder to the Blazers.
  17. My favorite writing utensil is the Uni Ball Jetstream.
  18. I think the worst food I have ever eaten was when I had duck pate in Montpellier, France.
  19. It blows my mind that other people have rational thought.  Since I only know my own thoughts, it's entirely too difficult for me to grasp the idea that everyone else is confusing themselves just as much as I am.
  20. I laugh out loud and sometimes cry when I'm reading.  I cried in Sometimes a Great Notion, because that book is abso-infix-lutely brilliant.
  21. I went to Sundance twice with other film students when I was in college, and I could have cared less about the movies.  I just wanted to see celebrities.
  22. My dad used to give my brother and I haircuts until I cried when I looked in the mirror.  He never did it again after that.
  23. I like coffee.  Starbucks is my favorite.  My drink of choice in the summer is a tall espresso frappucino with a shot poured on top and extra caramel sauce.  My drink in the winter is a Double tall 1/2 flavor cinnamon white mocha.  I think this makes me a snob.
  24. My parents always had date night on Fridays.  And every Friday, my brother and I would watch a rented movie and eat either boboli pizza or macaroni and cheese.  The movie I remember the most was Carpool with Tom Arnold.
  25. I often misrepresent myself, and I'm sure other people do as well.  That's why I try to approach new relationships expecting the best instead of the worst.
  26. I am addicted to online shopping.  At any given time, I am more than likely wearing something I purchased online.
  27. I listened to Christian music solely until I went to a Christian college. Now I hardly listen to Christian music.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

100 Favorite Movies

  1. The Lives of Others (2007)
  2. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
  3. No Country for Old Men (2007)
  4. Almost Famous (2000)
  5. Annie Hall (1977)
  6. Once (2006)
  7. On the Waterfront (1954)
  8. Magnolia (1999)
  9. The Godfather (1972)
  10. WALL-E (2008)
  11. Goodfellas (1990)
  12. The Departed (2006)
  13. Chinatown (1974)
  14. Seven Samurai (1954)
  15. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  16. Milk (2008)
  17. Ordinary People (1980)
  18. There Will Be Blood (2007)
  19. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  20. Good Will Hunting (1997)
  21. Stranger than Fiction (2006)
  22. Network (1976)
  23. Big Fish (2003)
  24. Ran (1985)
  25. Unbreakable (2000)
  26. Big (1988)
  27. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  28. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  29. Adaptation (2002)
  30. Forrest Gump (1994)
  31. Chariots of Fire (1981)
  32. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  33. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  34. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
  35. Be Kind Rewind (2008)
  36. Frost/Nixon (2008)
  37. The Pianist (2002)
  38. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
  39. The Wrestler (2008)
  40. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  41. Michael Clayton (2007)
  42. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  43. Being John Malkovich (1999)
  44. Man on Wire (2008)
  45. The Shawshank Redemption(1994)
  46. The Village (2004)
  47. When We Were Kings (1996)
  48. The Fountain (2006)
  49. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  50. Rushmore (1998)
  51. Toy Story (1995)
  52. Road to Perdition (2002)
  53. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  54. Back to the Future (1985)
  55. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  56. American History X (1998)
  57. The Truman Show (1998)
  58. Signs (2002)
  59. The Assassination of Jesse James (2007)
  60. The Dark Knight (2008)
  61. The Sandlot (1993)
  62. Fargo (1996)
  63. Jerry Maguire (1996)
  64. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  65. Oceans Eleven (2001)
  66. The Matrix (1999)
  67. The Deer Hunter (1978)
  68. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  69. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  70. Murderball (2005)
  71. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  72. Ratatouille (2007)
  73. The Princess Bride (1987)
  74. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  75. Bottle Rocket (1996)
  76. Dances With Wolves (1990)
  77. Rashomon (1950)
  78. Field of Dreams (1989)
  79. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  80. Jurassic Park (1993)
  81. Chop Shop (2007)
  82. Fight Club (1999)
  83. Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)
  84. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  85. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  86. Manhattan (1979)
  87. Seven (1995)
  88. Donnie Darko (2001)
  89. Election (1999)
  90. Black Narcissus (1947)
  91. The Professional (1994)
  92. The Prestige (2006)
  93. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
  94. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  95. The Shining (1980)
  96. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  97. Minority Report (2002)
  98. Memento (2000)
  99. Lost in Translation (2003)
  100. The Usual Suspects (1995)

Oldest Movie

Black Narcissus (1947)

Avg. Release Year


Movies by Decade 

2000s 44

  1990s 27

1980s 14

1970s 9

1960s 2

1950s 3

1940s 1

Most Releases by Year

 11 2008

8 2007

6 2006, 1999

5 2002

4 2004, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1989, 1980

Releases by Director

5 Wes Anderson

4 M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Spielberg

3 Woody Allen, Joel Coen, David Fincher,

Akira Kurosawa, George Lucas,

Christopher Nolan

2 P.T. Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Tim

Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron

Crowe, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze,

Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Martin

Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, Robert Zemeckis

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Doing What Comes Naturally

"Relating to people more honestly is certainly possible. Find someone you have withheld something from and tell it to him. See what happens. Next time you feel like touching someone, do it. Next time you are hurt or frightened, express it. When you catch yourself trying to protect an image, stop, and see if you can be real instead. If you're embarrassed to pay someone a compliment, do it anyway. If you want to know how people respond to you, ask them." - William Schutz
This quote has been in my favorite quotes section on my face book page for a while now. I first discovered it a year ago when I was taking Small Group Communication. I was in the Flying M reading for class one day when I came across the quote in my textbook. I thought it was great! How often to people hold back because they’re afraid of the consequences? In theory, this is a great quote. If a person were to heed Schutz’s advice, they could come out of a fear of social interaction and be able to better connect with people. Since I wrote this on my face book page though, I’ve had to think about whether or not I really want to keep it on there. I think this quote could cause someone to take an extreme approach to interaction, and seriously trespass on someone’s personal space.

I get caught up in thinking about this too much. But in all actuality, I tend to read this quote as a guide for overcoming my fear of that particular girl I may have a crush on. Why is it that when I start to like someone, I automatically question everything I do? The relationship may be fine for a while, but there'ss a moment in my mind when the “crush” switch gets flipped, and it’s always downhill from there. I proofread every text I send to her 5 times before sending it. I lay in bed thinking about what I could have said differently to her earlier that day, and what I can say to her the next time I see her. I lose sleep. I can’t read books as easily, because my mind is too occupied with thoughts about her. I get jealous of anyone else she may talk to, or spend time with. I get jealous of her family! The more examples I write, the more I realize that this is a serious problem.

Here’s my best diagnosis: I crave time with a girl that I like, because I feel that every moment spent together is another chance I have to convince her that I’m the kind of guy she could date. It’s pretty selfish. If I ever want to lead a normal life, with normal relationships, I need to chill out. The reason these relationships eventually die is because I focus so much on my own agenda, and completely ignore the other persons needs. I can’t imagine how unfulfilling it would actually be if I was ever in a relationship like that. Not only would the chase be over, but my agenda would be accomplished. I would have convinced the girl that I’m datable material, and then what? That relationship couldn’t survive.

I’ve been asking God to help increase three things in my life. Patience, respect, and selflessness. Otherwise, every relationship I pursue will never amount to anything important, and I will be lonely for a long time. I’m tired of thinking about whether or not I should speak or stay silent, reach out and touch or hold back. I’m tired of second-guessing every action. I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s tired of it either.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brad Pitt Is a Celebrity Among Celebrities

And this is a blog completely unrelated to Brad Pitt.

A friend and I were having a conversation recently. I mentioned the fact that she has a tendency to hold on to relationships longer than most people, or possibly just myself. In fact, she has already written a post about this same conversation. You could call this a call-and-response blog, similar to "Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord".

In my experience, relationships (at least 95% of them) don't last very long.  Soon enough, you graduate from school, you change jobs, you move out of town, or you make a some other change in your life that causes you to leave one group of people and join another.  I'm a huge proponent for change.  I don't stand on streetcorners protesting stagnancy, but I know that it's safer to drink out of a river than it is to drink out of a pond.  When we allow movement to take us, we find the opportunity to look outside of ourselves, to realize that there is more than just "us".  Staying put causes people to decrease the size of their world, until it fits inside a small town, or a house, or cramped inside one person's mind.

I don't consider myself a pessimist. In fact, I'm usually optimistic in most situations. But this may be one of the areas where I appear to be drinking out of a glass that's half empty.  Why would I give up on the relationships of my past, the very people that have shaped me directly or indirectly, to be who I am today?

I haven't given up.  I've acknowledged and appreciated their impact, applied it to my life as best as I could, and moved on to acknowledge and appreciate other people.  Just like they have moved on as well.  If I were to spend all of my time with my high school friends, wouldn't I be cheating both parties out of other more significant relationships?  Relationships that could help challenge and enrich our lives as they are now, in the present, as opposed to how they were when we were sixteen?

Anyways, I've had really mixed emotions while writing all of this, and I'm still trying to decide what to make of it all.  These are the list of possible reasons why I could have come to this stance on relationships:
  • I am bitter that I don't have a lifelong best friend.
  • I've been rejected so many times I've been forced to learn how to move on in order to survive emotionally.
  • I don't have enough energy or space in my life to have more than a few close friends.
  • I'm a parasite that moves from person to person, sucking them dry to serve myself.
  • I won't get close because I know that change is inevitable, and I don't want to go through the pain of losing someone.
  • People haven't initiated contact with me, and I'm too proud to contact them first.
  • Who I am now is not a significant improvement on who I was then.
  • Once people get to know me, really get to know me, they will discover that I'm not at all interesting enough to have around, and I move on before they get a chance to dig that deep.
  • I just get tired of people once I get to know them.

Life is ridiculous.  I don't know whether to thank God or be angry with him for giving me emotions. Because of who I am - a selfish, confused, small, completely unimportant person - I have to go to a perfect God for guidance.  That's either love, or false advertising.  Did God make me imperfect knowing that my only choice would be to go back to my manufacturer and pay for repairs?  Is this free will?

I've got questions!  Am I supposed to go to God for the answers?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Distracting Myself

There's something very relaxing about making my bed.  When I wash my sheets, like I did today, I am given the opportunity to be distracted from everything else that is happening in my life and focus on the art of bed-making. Many other activities can put me in this state of focus and self-distraction.  These include but are not limited to:

Doing laundry
Cleaning my room
Washing dishes
Cleaning the kitchen
Organizing my bookshelf
Cleaning my bathroom
Folding laundry
Cleaning my desk

It's clear that I mainly clean when I'm stressed, worried, or confused.  For some reason, the act of putting everything in it's right place can help control my heartbeat.  Could it be that I'm cleaning my surroundings as a sub-conscious attempt at getting my own life in order? Am I like PSH in Synecdoche, scrubbing at everything to avoid being covered in the grime and grit of growing old?

When I'm lying in bed, and my thoughts race out of control, I have a particular method to help calm me down so I can sleep.  Some people count sheep.  I imagine an empty bookshelf.  The books that were once on it's shelves are now littering the floor.  One by one, I place the books back on the shelf.  I restore order to the disordered.  And soon, my breathing slows down, and I fall asleep.

Soon enough, however, I realize that the cleaning must either stop (leaving me with only truth) or never end (completely ignoring truth).  Why do I replace all of the books at night if I'm only going to pull them off the shelf again in the morning?  Is this a process that must be repeated in order to stay sane?  Must everything always be a process?

One more question: Can a life find order?