So I figure I have two choices for this entry. I can either write about the political drama that is quickly unfolding before our eyes or I can write a review of Jumper. Being that I saw jumper more than a week ago, i'm not sure I could really do this film the justice that its scathing review really deserves. What I will say is that it was an hour and half of an insult to celluloid. Seriously, if I was a film roll and my fate was to be printed with the likes of Jumper...I would be totally pissed right now. That said, it may be both hayden christianson's finest performance and perhaps sam jackson's worst. That not withstanding, sam jackson is still better than hayden...though not by much. In short...this movie SUCKS.

On to the political season of a lifetime. Clinton vs. Obama...steel cage match of a lifetime. I watched the big debate on tuesday between these two democratic demagogues and I was thoroughly impressed. Not so much by either candidate but by a political process that allows for a neoliberal neophyte like the big O to go so far without so much as a clue as to what he is really doing. I am really blown away by the sheer number of voters out there who are eating his "hope for america" and "america's soul needs fixing" stuff for breakfast. It reeks of jonestown and the peoples temple but on a massive scale. No end game in need he is going to walk away with the nomination and just might stroll into office. I remember an SNL clip (unfortunately I couldn't find it on YouTube this time), wherein Mike Dukakis is listening to George H.W. Bush in a "debate" and remarking..."I can't believe I'm loosing to this guy." I think it followed some lines about "staying the course" and "thousand points of light" or some bullshit like that. If you replace...those "thousand points of light" with "change we can believe in" you have barack obama with a bad haircut and a more palatable spouse. Normally, I wouldn't pick on the family of a candidate...unless that candidates last name rhymed with "blinton" and then of course all bets are off. BUT...Michelle Obama kills me...not proud of america until just now. I mean maybe she means politically but even still...what about all the great politicians of the past. Even as a liberal...she must be a little proud of reagan and the end of the cold war in 1989. She is old enough to remember when MLK was alive and the great advances made politically during that time. The passage of the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1968. Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969 etc. It is really a sad state of affairs when a candidates family is willing to sell out the accomplishments of a country for a cheap political ploy. But back to the main event...Barack. Where did this guy even come from...he has no right to be a successful candidate. In any other election year he would have been out many months ago but this year the rules are seemingly a bit different and he is the benefactor of that change. Had America changed...i don't think so. I think they are being fooled and will quickly be made fools of when he is allowed into office. I am no fan of hillary but I can acknowledge that she is intelligent and a leader with a track record of achievement. I disagree with her on most everything but I understand why she is a viable candidate and could understand her presidency. Obamas got nothing but the support of limousine liberals and short sighted college kids who have become so wrapped up in his speech that they forget about the substance of it all. The debate makes it clear...hillary tries and tries to poke holes in barack's armor bestowed upon him by the media and political elites but to no avail. He makes her look foolish without ever saying a thing. How frustrating must it be to know you haven't a snowballs chance in hell to win a race that you should be winning...if logic was still the rule. Meanwhile McCain sits back and waits for his opponent and he must be worried...watching what is happening to the clinton campaign machine...perhaps the most well oiled and battle tested of them all. It would take a "vast right wing conspiracy" to defeat obama now. Maybe hillary should have been focusing more on gaining a vast left wing conspiracy back in '98...then she might not be in such a bind today. I guess it comes down to Ohio and Texas but even those are looking increasingly out of reach for the she-devil. I guess we are too far past the old "ask not what your country can do for you." We've moved on to "ask not what your candidate can do for you but ask what you can do for your candidate." My answer...not much. Patrick OUT!!

Registered Gift Offender

So my sisters (and my fathers) birthday was this past week. She is getting married in June and so for this birthday we had the benefit of a gift registry to figure out what she really wanted. There could really be nothing easier and it is a sure bet for a good gift. This got me thinking...why don't people have gift registries all the time. Its acceptable for weddings and perhaps for baby's and stuff like that so why not have a birthday registry. It really seems like the most pragmatic way to do business. I figure I should start a constantly updated registry that would be open to the world. Thus, anytime someone wanted to show their adoration, admiration, or appreciation...they could look at the registry and pick out the perfect gift or I guess to be more precise they would purchase the gift that I had already decided on as being the perfect gift. I'm really taking the time out of my own busy schedule to make it easier for other people to buy me things. That in and of itself is probably worth a gift here and there. Of course with any registry you run into that unavoidable problem of figuring out how much people want to spend. Of course there is always the big ticket item for that long lost billionaire third cousin twice removed that now wants to reconnect through material goodness (i'm still waiting on that one). For them I would probably have something like this

but I would have it in black...goes better with my eyes.
I also think it would be a neat opportunity to indulge and perhaps expose some of the more obscure desires (i'm not talking fetishes here...though that might be an option for some). More like the overwhelming desire to have three pounds of red, green and yellow skittles in 5:4:3 ratio thereby creating the most delicisous combination in every bite and also allowing for the easy creation of a gigantic right triangle with monochromatic sides (look it up). It would also serve to eliminate those gifts that I clearly dont want. Like . I mean seriously...naming a star after someone??? Who falls for this? Do they really believe there is a registry for star names and that for the rest of eternity scientists and school children will be remembering the name Nancy Joe Watson in the Upsilon prime nebula. I think not... Furthermore who buys that sort of thing...its almost like one of those, " a donation was made in your name to..." Except in this case it would read, " A donation was made in your name to a crack pot company of dubious repute for the fictitious naming of a star in an international registry which is only international because the money goes to an american and the call is taken by an underpaid worker in bangladesh...have a great day." To those people I say...forget about naming a star after me or anyone else...focus on visiting it yourself. Patrick OUT!!!

Presidents Day

So tomorrow is Presidents Day. Of course, I don't get that day off because WPI is rather miserly with not only holidays but also weather cancellations. You would think in a city like worcester with its massive hills that we would have more frequent weather closings...alas it is not meant to be. Back to the original subject: Presidents Day...i'm actually not all that upset about not getting this monday holiday off. In my mind, this amongst all the major monday federal holidays is the least deserving of a day off. Seriously people...who celebrates presidents day besides used car salesmen. Are there any families out there that all gather around to remember the greatness of george washington and abe lincoln. Does anyone light two candles in remembrance or sing presidential carols around a replica white house shrub...I think not (though they might be traditions i would start in my own family). I totally understand things like memorial day and veterans day...people go and do things on those days and its right to give people the day off to memorialize those who came before us and defended our country. Martin Luther King Day...certainly an important holiday for personal reflection on this nations sordid past. Even Labor day makes sense...leave it to the unions to celebrate the power of the labor movement by taking a random day off for a long brutally ironic and yet seemingly appropriate. Columbus day gets me a little bit...i never could understand why only the capitol of ohio gets its own holiday, or do i misinterpret things here??? But Presidents day...i think not. And really if there is going to be a presidents day we need to specify who we are talking about. Washington and Lincoln day makes a bit more sense. "Presidents" is just too vague for my leaves too much to personal interpretation. Do we really want a federal holiday that could be mistaken for endorsing the administrations of Millard Fillmore, Frankling Pierce, and James Buchanon. I will now take a moment to appologize to my readers who are also members of the Franklin Pierce fan club...i mean no disrespect and I'll be at the regular meeting next thursday. Anyone else interested we meet at VFW post 697 right after the womens AA meetings. Patrick OUT!!!

Movie Review: AvP

So last night, after getting back from dinner with Elsa. The two of us and her roomates watched perhaps the finest cinematic gem of the last half century. I am of course referring to the classic romantic comedy...Alien vs. Predator. I know some of you may be saying, " But Patrick...AvP is not a romantic comedy." To you I say, of course its a romantic comedy. Furthermore, I would argue that it is the archetypical romantic comedy. A fine merging of two classic genres into two seamless hours of movie gold. Of course, I take romance in the sense of classical european definition being characterized by Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and of course the seminal Beowulf. As I'm sure you've probably guessed...I take comedy in the more modern sense as exemplified in the classic Farrelly brothers farce "There's Something About Mary." In other words, it was HILARIOUS. Now for a plot summary. The movie begins realistically enough with the discovery of a massive pyramid under the arctic. While this may seem a bit uninspired to some of you, I can assure you without giving much plot away that this is no ordinarry underground arctic pyramid we are dealing with here. A team of heroic arctic archaeologists (which must be a lonely gig when you aren't discovering alien temples) begins to explore buried pyramid through a mysterious hole in the ground near an abandoned whaling station. A call them heros here because only a movie hero would venture 300 feet down a hole that appeared over night without the thought of calling the rest of civilization for input on the matter. Once down within the pyramid structure they find a mixture of egyptian, aztec, and mayan symbols which is really the first major revelation of the film. I know I was always taught that these people were located on two distant continents while in fact they were united in antarctica the whole time. Once you think about it, it makes perfect sense that people from the hottest part of the planet would undertake massive construction projects deep below an ice shelf in the arctic. Why nobody thought of this before AvP, I will never know. Come to find out the mayans and egyptions were taught how to build pyramids by the predators who were subsequently treated like gods. Again this makes perfect sense. Picture yourself in the mesoamerica of classical antiquity and appearing from the sky comes a ship of some sort carrying a masked creature with dreadlocks. Said creature teaches you to pile stones up into big shapes for years on end for his own personal enjoyment...would you not be totally enthralled by his very presence and treat him as a king. I know I would...because if I didn't I would probably end up with a giant predator scythe coming through my abdomen. More on that later. After our intrepid explorers decode years of mayan history from the temple walls, it turns out that the predators desire the ultimate hunt and thus breed aliens that need humans as a host. Again this makes perfect sense, aliens from a different planet need humans to reproduce. I don't want to get into the chicken and egg thing here but i think that the movie was written by some intelligent design folks because this system just works despite reasoning and logic. So after having my faith in evolution destroyed and my sense of history shattered, the movie stuns us again when one by one main characters are slaughtered by either aliens or predators but then makes a total turn when we discover that actually the predators are our friends and are really pretty damn cool. I mean out of all the aliens you could have a pan-galactic garglebaster with...predators are clearly the bloodthirsty extraterestrial of choice. Skipping forward a bit, last surviving human and last surviving predator team up to kill mother alien. After all that the predator dies and some others come to take his body away and leave the lone human in the arctic alone. This was really the disappointing part...after 2 hours of epic movie the clearly relies on scientific fact and sound on earth are we supposed to believe that this woman survives on her own in the arctic. That is just absurd and to be honest it ruined the last 5 minutes of the movie for me.
In short, go see AvP! Patrick OUT!

Valentine's Day

I'm going to do my best to not sounds like a stick in the mud but...I really don't like valentine's day. If there was ever anything so pure as a loving relationship between two people...why ruin that with an overly commercialized over hyped sell-out one day a year holiday. I mean really, if your relationship boils down to a specific day each year where you and your significant other judge each one another, then there are some serious issues. Don't even get me started on people who propose on valentine's day. Is there anything more anti-romantic than popping the big question on a day that someone else (in this case the decidedly unromantic catholic church) decided on years ago. In a silly attempt to get people to be personal with one another it has become the most impersonal of holidays. I suppose it all starts back in elementary school when everyone gets a candy and card from everyone else. I think somebody missed the point there...its a little communist if you ask me. Does it bother anyone else that the predominant color is RED. Furthermore as a guy, imagine what would have happened if I had followed the advice of my beloved grade school teachers and given valentines indiscriminately to everyone I knew. In this day and age of sexual harassment and unwelcomed advances I would probably be put in jail for such denial of proper valentine's etiquette. If I were a young woman (please note that this phrase will never again be written in this blog for any reason...EVER), and a gentleman suitor came to woo me on valentine's day I would be a bit suspicious. Here comes a man with chocolates in hand trying to make up for 364 (365 this year) other days this year when he didn't do such things. Should I then bow down and say...oh, I knew it was worth putting up with his crap for this one day when I would be showered with flowers and heart shaped boxes of chocolates. My answer..."NO". I would much rather a spouse who was of only mediocre quality every day than an idiot who put on a romantic flair one day a year. With that in mind and in the spirit of full disclosure; after work today... I'm buying flowers and chocolate. Nobody's perfect. Patrick OUT!

Pimped Out

First of this story.

I'm kind of upset about this whole story from start to finish. On a lesser note, I'm not sure why anyone would listen to chelsea clinton stumping for her mother. Exactly what we need, a young college graduate who is anything but impartial telling people how to vote. Or perhaps she is selling herself the same way candidates sell their spouses to the country. I think it might have worked when Bubba was running and she was an awkward little girl with braces. Now, she is a political nobody that no one would pay attention to otherwise. Beyond all that, for David Shuster to say she was "pimped out" is outrageous on a whole other level. Have we come to a point in american media and american culture where a (formerly) respected news man can use the term "pimped out" and not laugh himself off the soundstage. Maybe next week David Gregory can pester the president about his "bitchs" and if an Iraq pullout is fo shizzle or not a realistic possibizzle given tha geopolizzles climatizzle of tha regionizzzle. On the same lines check this out as well...snoop dog + larry king = hillarious

With that...I am officially joing the Gangsta party for the coming election. I think I should fit right in with that crew. I really hope I don't need to pick a side in the crips and bloods feud ...i feel like i look good in both red and blue pinpoint oxfords and if that whole east coast west coast battle starts up again i just don't know what i'll do. Problems for another day I suppose...Patrick OUT!

By Popular Demand

Yes folks, I'm back...tell your friends and family that the worlds best blog is now back on-line. Ok...maybe not the best blog, second best perhaps??? Maybe the best blog by a young graduate student in the city of worcester? Anyways, put in your nominations now and I can take home this prestigious title next year. Contrary to what you might be thinking I didn't die over the past few actuality I was just ignoring this whole thing. Not that I had really more important things to do I just wasn't feeling up to the task...but now I'm back and maybe not better than ever but at least as good as before. A lot of stuff happened since my last post though. For one, I submitted my first manuscript for publication. In short, that was a major pain in the ass...i'm fairly certain i've never worked as hard on a written document as I did for that. It is out for review now and hopefully we will hear back in a few months on that one. In the mean time how do I relax you ask? Answer: we started on paper number 2. Ugh, I am loathing the thought of really digging into that one. In lighter news I got kinda of into climbing over the winter and i remembered how much fun that can be. Its obviously just been in various rock gyms recently but in the spring I look forward to getting out on the real thing for a change. In other more recent news, there was THAT patriots game...I refuse to comment on it for fear of sinking into a deep dark depression that I might never emerge from. I will leave my feelings on all that at disappointment with a touch of astonishment. Nevertheless, the problem remains that like every february my sundays are going to now be brutally empty. If only I was religious then perhaps Sundays would now still retain their significance. As it stands now, besides the occasional Sunday brunch...we could really stand to just have a 6 day week until September roles around and football begins again. In other news, I am officially on my way to China in just under 4 months. Obviously many of the posts in the coming months will be dedicated to the whole process of getting there and then obviously the culture shock that will surely ensue upon my arrival. Of course, I couldn't let my return post go by without a little rant from my inner political junkie. Super Tuesday! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what is super about it. It didn't decide anything this didn't even effectively knock anyone clearly out of the race (this just in...Romney is out, I stand corrected). We can't call it super on account of the candidates. What do we have left...a whole bunch of firsts? First African American, First Woman, First Mormon, First really old guy (strike that last one...we've had that before). We've also got a lot of things that are not the first. Not the first time I've felt abandoned by the political system. Not the first time I've been without a candidate I really thought was right. Alas, another political season of settling for least bad...i think i'm starting to get used to it. With that sour note...Patrick OUT!