Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

I love this garage rock version of one of my very favourite songs:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Living on the Knife Edge of Reality

I'm feeling rather euphoric these days. Part of the reason has to do with the new condo -- I'm getting very excited -- but in general something else is going on, as well...

I feel much more at peace now than at any other time in my life. I look at other people, and especially women, differently. I accept them for their flaws and I try to understand how they feel, how they view the world.

No longer driven by libido (mine has been dialed down a lot), I take a much more leisurely attitude towards women and how I interact with them. I may or may not feel the desire to bone them, but I no longer care enough to obsess about it. Beautiful women are all around me, just as exotic sports cars (ie, "panty-droppers") are. It's enough that I can dream about them, I don't need to possess them. I just take it all in stride.

I recognize that I may not be very good in relationships, and that's fine. I am what I am. I can only do the best with what I've got (or what God gave me, if you're religiously inclined). If a woman is not going to be my romantic partner, perhaps she can be my friend. And for the first time in my life, I am perfectly okay with that.

I have nothing to regret about my life. It's a very good life. I am physically healthy. I am mentally sharp and alert (thanks to multivitamins and Omega-3). I am feeling good (exemplified here). I can loosen my coin purse without feeling guilt or remorse.

And while I've not won awards and accolades, while I've not reached the pinnacle of success in the eyes of others, I feel very good about my achievements. It was not a wasted life -- I learned a lot, and I continue to learn. I have many skills and talents. I've acquired wisdom, much more than I realize, I'm sure.

Even my mortality I am learning to take in stride. At the age of 57, I can see the end coming -- 20 years to dementia is a mere blip in time -- but I feel more philosophical about life. I can't live forever, but I can live now. Fear of the end is my only enemy, and fear can only be dispelled through living well.

And I am living well, despite what others may believe. For far too long, I've measured my life against others, and this is a toxic position to take. The only thing that matters is how I feel about my life. I am doing what I enjoy -- it may not impress you, but I don't need to impress you (another first for me).

To achieve this state of being, I've learned to live on the knife edge of reality. What do I mean by that?

Somehow, I've managed to find myself existing contemporaneously in both "reality" and "fantasy". The two are interchangeable. The life that I could've had with Mary is as "real" as the life I have now. "Experience" is no longer confined to my perception of reality.

It's as if my imagination can take on a life of its own once seeded with a bit of reality. The life that I could've had with her is now a part of who I am.

It is a precarious balance, but oddly enough, I find myself solidly on good footing. My Silver Beast is my Maserati. The women with whom I might've been can be my friends. My new home will be a wonderful refuge (tied to my plasma TV), but I imagine trekking around the globe with nothing more than my credit card. These are all equivalent "realities".

Possibilities are realities. The only reality that counts is the one that you feel the closest affinity to. And I feel affinity to many of them...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Movie Review: Sucker Punch

We couldn't be further apart...

Rotten Tomatoes give Sucker Punch a dismal 20% rating. However, I think it's one of the Best Movies of the Year.

Today was also my first introduction to Ultra AVX (Audio Video Experience), the rival to IMAX that has just arrived in Canada. Naturally, you pay more for Ultra AVX, $3 more. It's not quite as expensive as IMAX, but I can tell you that, as a Cheap Bastard, I won't be paying for Ultra AVX very often.

The screen is almost as big as IMAX -- wider but not as tall. The Ultra AVX theatre has only reserved seating -- wide, rocker seating. Incredibly comfortable. I selected seat F17, which was just about ideal, although I did have to crane my neck a little bit. To avoid that, you'd have to sit further back, but then the screen wouldn't fill your vision as much.

(Note: Because of reserved seating, I advise you to get to the theatre early. Today, it didn't matter because the theatre was 90% empty.)

As soon as the commercials started playing, I knew I was in for a remarkable cinematic experience. The picture was crisp and sharp and highly detailed. The sound was thunderous, but the bass was tight, not sloppy. The sound stage was excellent. And these were just the ads!

The story is about a young girl -- let's call her Baby Doll -- who is institutionalized in an insane asylum. She has a plan to escape, but she needs the help of her fellow inmates: Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie, and Amber. In order to get through her dark experience in the asylum, Baby Doll also has to escape from her mind into fantasy. It is in this fantasy realm that director Zack Synder, who brought you 300 and Watchmen, treats us to spectacular and stunning visuals, the likes of which I have not seen before.

The film reminds me of Inception, with delusions within a delusion. And these delusions are truly wonderful. Great action and fight sequences. Very imaginative art direction. And the girl soldiers are sexy as hell. (You can bet I'll be going to bed tonight with Baby Doll on my mind...)

Zack Snyder's next film is Superman: Man of Steel (2012), and based on his three successes (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch) I can hardly wait!

In conclusion, Ultra AVX is terrific. I'd say it's as good as IMAX. But because of the cost, I'd reserve Ultra AVX for special movies, movies that promise spectacular visuals and sound.

Sucker Punch is a fabulous movie. I will definitely get the Blu-ray disk when it comes out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Movie Review: I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil is a profile of evil incarnate. This statement doesn't do it justice. The film is a gruesome depiction of the worst excesses of the human mind...

Speaking of worst excesses, I Saw the Devil is the latest from Korea that pulls no punches when it comes to painting horrific images. It's the kind of movie that only Korean filmmakers excel at -- the visual vomit makes Hollywood's most demented creation look like a Saturday morning cartoon.

There was one scene that almost made me throw up, a first for me. And I've seen a LOT of disgusting horror films.

American = Derivative. Japanese = Anime. Korean = Cinematic Depravity.

The story revolves around a school bus driver named Kyung-chul. He's a sexual sadist and a serial killer and a cannibal. At the beginning of the film, he targets the daughter of a retired police chief and fiancée of an elite secret agent name Soo-hyun. In the scene that I referred to above, Kyung-chul takes a meat cleaver and chops her up into pieces like you would find in a butcher shop.

When Soo-hyun (who looks an awful lot like Daniel Dae Kim from Lost and Hawaii Five-O) identifies the killer, he takes his revenge to an epic scale. Who is the monster in the film?

At 2:24 long, this film contains a number of profound plot twists. It's very engaging.

By the way, Min-sik Choi, who plays Kyung-chul, also played the villain in Oldboy and Lady Vengeance, two films that I enjoyed. I'm just guessing, but I think he needs to expand his repertoire before he becomes stereotyped.

Major Thumbs Up. Highly recommended. But I strongly advise you to steel yourself before entering the movie theatre...

And just a minor point: Why am I not having nightmares? What is wrong with me??

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Valentine's Day Message

This video shows a memorable performance from David Boreanaz in Bones. His character, Seeley Booth, has his heart ripped from his chest and soundly stomped. He exquisitely reveals his anguish and anger over having his proposal to Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) rejected. Love really sucks.

Friday, February 11, 2011


On the eve of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd offer up some thoughts...

What a wretched holiday, celebrating love and pair bonding and procreation when one in three marriages ends in divorce and their family life is irrevocably shattered.

On last evening's Bones, Seeley Booth proposes to Hannah but she turns him down (she's not the "marrying kind"). Profoundly heartbroken and despondent, Booth becomes very cynical and down on the entire female gender. He has now been rejected by three women to whom he gave his heart and soul. (The first gave him a son.)

One sympathizes.

On Dr. Phil, a 35-year-old woman has been preparing an elaborate wedding in anticipation of meeting her soulmate by the Valentine's Day 2011 deadline. (She recently gave up and donated her wedding to a deserving couple.) Like most women, she sought joy and bliss in "marriage" but what she really wanted was a grand wedding.

Talk of soulmates and marital bliss always makes me puke. It's a fantasy that is constantly promulgated in our society, and Valentine's Day is the pinnacle of this manipulative tradition.

Don't accuse me of being a cynic or a pessimist. I am merely offering my observations of the real world. There is nothing wrong with being alone. Indeed, it should be glorified. It is only our annoying genetic predisposition that causes us to fight loneliness. Learn to embrace solitude. Own it. Build a cathedral to it.

In the final analysis, it is all simply a state of mind. And the mind, as we all know, is infinitely malleable...

"I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude."
Henry David Thoreau

"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."
Orson Welles

"A man can be himself only so long as he is alone."
Arthur Schopenhauer

"All of our unhappiness comes from our inability to be alone."
Jean de la Bruyere

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 is the 60th Anniversary

I am leaving soon, and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly.

The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all, or no one is secure.

Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We, of the other planets, have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets and for the complete elimination of aggression.

The test of any such higher authority is, of course, the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets in spaceships like this one and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression, we have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked. At the first sign of violence, they act automatically against the aggressor. The penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk. The result is, we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war. Free to pursue more... profitable enterprises.

Now, we do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we do have a system, and it works. I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

The original release date was September 28, 1951. I plan to throw a party on that day (it's a Wednesday).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

If Mary could sing...

This song has a really nice beat:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Logical Song

My favourite song of all time: