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Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers

Posted 24 April 2002, 6.38 pm by Shaggy

Well, this is my first review, and I thought it very appropriate that I review one of my favourite novels. At once a stirring action novel, and at the same time a moving plea for world peace and unity, I enjoyed this book profusely. Not to be confused with the movie of the same name (which turned into the worst peice of gen X trash this side of SciFi), the novel is a very tasteful, very thorough piece.

Recommended to all who liked the movie, should the need for intelligence come in to play. If you hated the movie, you aren't alone, but that does not necessarily mean that you might hate the novel, for they are about as comparable as vodka and my ass.

That is to say, you cannot compare the movie with the novel.

You think you cannot communicate?

Posted 24 April 2002, 6.18 pm by Shaggy


I was thinking of how character interpretation is driven. I was wondering why I (and all other humans... come on, don't lie!) judge people upon seeing them, and how I can easily classify people and immediately have a huge picture of their character, simply by what clothes they wear. "Oh, he's a jock. He must be stupid."

Admittedly, most of my characterizations are vague and tend to not be as restricting as the above quote. Yet, I often wonder how many wonderfully interesting people I have missed talking to, merely because they dressed a way that proved irksome to me, or in a fashion that I found was not very representative of the characteristics that I enjoy in people.

However, I find comfort in the fact that I surely must indeed come off as a socially inept and disturbed individual. Let me explain myself:

When I first met my present girlfriend, I ended the night with: "I had fun. We should hook up together sometime. THAT IS, ahem, we should you know, get together... uhm... you know... that is to say..."

That was the first night that I smacked my forehead and called myself an idiot. The second time was when her father and his fiancee were driving me home. I had an interesting night (her father is a rather interesting bloke that never ceases to surprise, for better or worse), but I didn't want to seem too eager to return. After all, from what I have learned from television about dating, a man must not seem too eager. For some reason, actually wanting the woman is creepy. So I told him that I would see him later. I immediately thought that the comment might have been perhaps a bit too committal, so I immediately returned, "that is to say, I MIGHT see you later."

My life is filled with these moments. Moments when I feel so intolerably socially-inept that I wonder how I manage to function in a social environment at all. Sometimes I just don't function in a social environment, either making someone angry at me, or what other negative event I can manage to stir.

And yet, people still tell me how smart I am. That is to say, they still think that I actually have an inkling of intelligence. This sometimes puts a lot of pressure on me. I look back at those I love and feel like I owe them something somehow. And dagnabit, I like feeling smart. A little self-deception is helpful, or at least in moderation.

So I guess my point is that, as long as people will falsely judge me as smart, I will try to beat insurmountable odds to actually live up to that expectation.

However, the one thing that only a select few have actually commented on is my compassion. And yet, I still find myself somehow motivated to be as compassionate and helpful as I can be. The motivation is innate, and unspoken.

I don't want much. All I want is world peace and to be as smart as people think I am.

Oh and I want to be rich and famous in the meanwhile.

My Entire Ass

Posted 24 April 2002, 3.22 pm by Berly

Wanker and Zarous. These two make me laugh. I hope they make you laugh too.

Don't expect the world. This site is inconsistent with the updates at best. Generally, there will be a couple of months of non-activity, followed by daily activity. Right now we are seeing some daily activity - with a chance of continued daily activity.

At one time, they had a poll. I wrote in to say it should be called "Poll My Finger". Can you believe they vetoed that? I'm not bitter. It's not like almost a year ago is a long time, or anything...

Go ahead, look at My Entire Ass.

“Obfuscation!” -- “Bless you.”

Posted 24 April 2002, 3.50 am by Berly

The Roach: “I’m going to buy a scanner today.”

Berly: “Oh, really? Fry’s or Best Buy?”

The Roach: “Neither.”

Berly: “Where then?”

The Roach: “Electronics Boutique.”

Berly: “I didn’t know they sold scanners?!”

The Roach: “They don’t.”

*berly sighs*

I’ve been at my new job for exactly five days. Already, I know more about my co-worker than I do about my own family. I know she’s got issues with the IRS, she is divorced and she drives a car that somehow causes her to be pulled over by the police on a regular basis. I know that her mother is living in an assisted living home. I know that the mail man has not delivered mail to her mother’s old residence for three weeks now, which is horrible because that means the insurance didn’t get paid, and has been cancelled, and the guy they hired to repair the screen door (with a detour to: even though no one currently lives there, someone will someday) broke his wrist when he fell on the stairs and now he will sue for sure...[insert symbol for infinity here].

I asked her where I could find the pencil sharpener.

*berly sighs*

Communication with other humans. I am decidedly bad at it. I ask questions that give me precisely the information I asked for, when I expected more. I ask questions that provide me with superfluous information, when I expected less. I have not learned how to effectively manage the communication beast.

Why is it that telling someone they talk too much rates on the un-fun scale just below “you have horrible breath and you need to try that new deodorant invention?”

And how is it that I can, and sometimes do, get exactly the amount of information I was seeking?

And why do I feel somehow offended when I’m not automatically provided with all of the information I would have given in response to a question...but only with certain people?

I am perplexed.

Leaving Here

Posted 22 April 2002, 10.12 pm by Jake

The wall shook as he smacked her up against it. He was drunk again, and she had accidentally burned his steak. Such a stupid little thing to get angry over. Her face was throbbing. “YOU STUPID CUNT!” he screamed. “CAN’T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT?” She felt so sorry, so bad for what she had done. She watched out of the corner of her swelling eye as he made a fist and reared back. She felt his fist smash into her face like a car wreck.

Cue forward.

Hospital bed. Fades in and out of consciousness. She looks over at the intravenous tube stuck in her arm and gazes up towards the contents of the IV bottle. Through a slight haze, she can distinguish the letters
“MO-P--NE”
Morphine. She reaches up to touch her face, through the drug haze it takes millenia for her fingers to graze her own cheek. She feels the bandages and gingerly touches the swollen cheek, feels the blunt pain of her broken nose. Bastard.
Five hours later, she wakes up. A little groggy, somewhat shaken, but still breathing. The doctor walks in softly, as if noise would hurt her. She looks over at him and he smiles and shakes his head in disappointment. “Lucky you’re still alive. That guy…is he your husband?” She replies, “No, boyfriend.” Her swollen lip makes the words unintelligible.
The doctor quips, “Maybe you ought to get some more rest, ma’am. By the way, your boyfriend is down at the police station being questioned. A restraining order will be placed on him if you wish. Do you want one?” She nods her head, and lays back down on the soft hospital bed.
As she tries to go back to sleep, her mind begins to wander. She remembers all of the times he had beaten her.

The beatings hadn’t started until she had moved in with him…and there was something different about him. He became more annoyed with her no matter what she did, and one day he went over the edge and smashed her over the head with a bottle of vodka. She suffered a concussion, and the doctors said that he had intercourse with her while she was knocked out. She didn’t file rape or assault charges though, she had only packed her things and left while he was at work…he came back a few days later, kneeling on her doorstep, looking like a saint. She moved back in with him, and they started with a clean slate. He had kept his composure and was looking well. They even talked about getting engaged. One day they got into an argument and screamed at each other for an hour. He ended up throwing her down to the ground, and she yelled until he left. She cried herself to sleep that night, and awoke in the morning to a rose and a bottle of wine with a card next to it. He apologized again and asked her to stay. That was exactly four days ago.

As she lay in the bed, she thought, “Once more….that’s all it will take.”

She returned home 2 days later, acting as if nothing had ever happened. He apologized profusely, and she accepted, half-heartedly. She had plans, though. She wasn’t going to be stupid, not anymore. He would pay.

Cue forward.

One night, he began to get irate. This time, she expected the blows. As he drew back his fist in anger, she pulled a butcher knife from the chopping block and jabbed it into his throat. The blood flowed forth like a fountain. “Release,” she said. He gurgled and staggered backwards, a look of extreme sorrow in his eyes. She stepped forward, tore the knife from the hole, and stabbed him in the head. He slumped to the floor as more blood pumped from the open gashes. She looked at the crimson liquid leaking from his head….reached out, touched it. It was warm and thick. She put her bloody fingertips to her lips and licked them. It tasted metallic. She liked it.

The taste of freedom.

Plan it Earth

Posted 22 April 2002, 7.05 pm by Villager

Look at your immediate surroundings. Perhaps you are in your bedroom, office, or study. You are sitting there in your chair staring at your computer, one of the more modern of amenities we are fortunate enough to have. The chair may have come from China, or somewhere like that. The computer would almost certainly have come from somewhere like the US or Britain. The materials involved in constructing these two things would have come from field more diverse and further apart still. Just for a chair, and just for a personal computer. Just two things in what is usually hundreds of amenities that we all take for granted and which every corner of the globe contributes to.

Expand this to the greater world. The materials and expertise required to build a skyscraper, or a car, or a nuclear rocket. The fact that such advanced creations are mass-produced on a wide world scale quickly and cheaply (okay a nuke may be a little more expensive) is testament to the economy and resources of this world. Sometimes it amazes me that we've not run out of space or materials yet.

The same thing goes for psychological advancements. Religious theory, the analysis and understand of the human being, together with excellent standards of fiction and development, offer something for everyone to specialise their efforts in. We may not be able to eclipse our predecessors on an emotional scale, but we always hope to amalgamate our own skills with knowledge and understanding to create something entirely unique and valuable.

This, as I'm sure you're aware, is the result of civilisation. Especially in the past few hundred years, the imaginations and endeavours of each country and culture have come together to give us what we have now. Great minds, Great collective endeavours, the fruits of the efforts of which we find ourselves at the pinnacle. We don't have to hunt for our food; we don't even have to go out to buy it. Hell, we don't even have to cook it anymore, thanks to the microwave. Transport has never been so fast and cheap. The list goes on, and I'll not bore you with an anthology of modern conveniences.

Trying to comprehend the history from which the state of affairs comes is a huge task. Where does everything come from? Who thought of it? How much more can the earth sustain? What's the next step in that technology? We are removed from each of our ancestors in such a way that it is fascinating and awe inspiring to place yourself as a link between the current level of life and what the future could hold, and it is one's ability to contribute to their chosen field in furthering knowledge and skill that is one of the greatest satisfactions in life.

puer natus est nobis

Posted 21 April 2002, 9.31 pm by Shaggy


Before I go on, yes I know I do not write often, but that should change this summer. This is exam period and I do have no time to go on the computers. But when I go home, I will get rehooked up to the internet, and start posting more regularily. With that note:

I would like to think that I do not take my life nor anything I have been handed for granted. Yet, there are certain things that even the most grateful of all persons take for granted. For instance, I would not be surprised if I found out that one of my readers takes it for granted that he or she has electricity (something which is a rather important necessity to reading this article). I would also probably not be surprised if many people I know take it for granted that they live in an environment in which they can walk the streets with relative to ridiculous amounts of safety.

The reason I am thinking of this is an event detailed to me. A friend of a friend of mine was recently out on an excursion. It was somewhat of a routine excursion, merely a “from point A to point B” event. Yet, he had forgotten to take out money for his cab. He asked the cab driver if he could stop by a bank machine so that he could take out some money for the trip. The cab driver became angered, and immediately kicked the poor guy out into the middle of the street. The cab driver must have been of rather loose morals, for he kicked the poor fellow onto a street in the “bad part” of the city. Within a few minutes, a car pulled up, a gun came out the window, and a demand was made for cash. Now, of course, the poor man had no money. After all, he had stopped to get money for the taxi! So the fellow had to tell them he had none. Of course, never the believers, the criminals told him to get in the car. Obviously, no sane person would do this unless it was an absolutely necessity, so he shook his head feverously. This did not please the scum in the car, and one of them grabbed the man by the throat and dragged him into the car, drove to the nearest bank teller, and demanded that he take out all his money. Since he had no choice (and since a camera was pointed at the criminals), he took out all his money. Eight hundred dollars was gone in the blink of an eye. All he had was a license plate, and a severe appreciation for life.

The sad thing is that people much younger than he is-- and younger than I am-- attend to such a fate on a regular basis. In fact, I have no doubt that, perchance, someone who reads this might have to go through similar streets on a daily basis.

I must ask a question that goes out to all who wish to answer: is this truly the state of things? Has the price of life truly gone down to the equivalent of three weeks in a crummy, substandard job? I do not know what sickens me more, the fact that people are killed for less, or the fact that people are so desperate to live without work that they have to resort to gun point. To live in such dirty conditions that they cannot even live without stealing less than a month’s income from a student, who truly (and I state this from experience) can barely afford a penny to throw away, is appalling and disgusting.

This goes out to all people who are in my similar social status: if you are, like me, living with your head slightly above water (it need not be by much), then look around you, at everything you have.

Now picture how much someone must have to live in one of these neighborhoods.

Now realize that the common criminal will kill even those with so little that they have to live in these neighborhoods.

Now, for the love of everything holy, love and cherish everyone who means anything to you. Chances are, if they were to cross paths with the wrong situation, they could be killed for the jewelry they wear, or even less.

And be proud of yourselves if you are as disgusted as I am, and want to see to it that the world changes, anyway it can.

Donnie Darko

Posted 21 April 2002, 6.38 pm by Berly

I’m not going to review this movie properly. I don’t want to. If I did, I’d spend a lot of time explaining the actors, plot and breathtaking direction of this film.

I can’t do that. I don’t want to spoil any part of this film for anyone lucky enough to be able to see it before any hype ruins it.

Besides, how can you write a proper review about a movie that has an evil looking bunny named Frank in it?

I will say this though. When I first saw it, I thought it was a high budget picture and I couldn’t figure out why I had not even seen an advertisement for it or heard about it before my friend Ian showed it to me. I’ve learned that it was an independent, low-budget film - so low budget that they couldn’t even afford to do a sound track. That’s too bad, because I personally LOVED the soundtrack as well.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t research it. Don’t even read the back of the package. Just rent it and watch it. Obviously, if you have younger children, you might want to be careful. However, there is no blood (like what we are accustomed to, anyway) and you can actually say there is no sex. It is rated R, for language, drug use and violence.

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My mom once told me she felt like the leaf in this photograph and asked me if I could name the photo after her.

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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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