well, it’s been a pretty slow 44 months

Well, it’s been a pretty slow 44 months. Not really, but that would be one way of glossing over an intensely prolonged famine of activity on the old blog.

Years ago when I was on the high school newspaper staff, Chris Swisher somehow got away with writing for our front page headline: “Well, It’s Been a Pretty Slow Month.” We had been taught that a headline needed to have a verb in it, and this one technically qualified, if only barely.

the_ground

As it turns out, “Well, It’s Been a Pretty Slow Month” isn’t a great headline for selling papers; that’s another rule we probably should have picked up along the way. Even in the January edition, when “Well, It’s Been a Pretty Slow Month” is probably as accurate a summation of how things are going as you could ever expect to get, even then it’s not a great headline for selling papers. It’s good thing, then, that we were giving away our product free of charge.

And you know what? I think that’s all I have to say for now. That’s right: no point to make, no apologies for not writing, no updates on what I’ve been up to, no promises that I’ll writing again soon. It’s the 12ᵗʰ of November. This is what it is.

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movies worth waiting for

It amazes me how quickly people expect their entertainment to be produced these days. Three years used to seem a reasonable amount of time to produce a sequel for a blockbuster film, but The Lord of the Rings and the early Harry Potter films spoiled us with a mere year between installments. While these particular franchises didn’t seem to suffer too greatly for the rapid release schedules, and while Hollywood does generally seem to be doing better at producing decent entertainment in less time, I think it’s still safe to say that the best films generally take a little more time to create. Continue reading

[what i’ve been playing] X-COM: UFO Defense

The year is 1998, and Earth is threatened by a wide-scale alien invasion. Funded by a coalition of nations and controlled by you, the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM) is the only hope for humankind.

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I’ve recently been revisiting my formative years playing X-COM: UFO Defense (a.k.a. UFO Enemy Unknown) online, available on Steam. UFO Defense and its sequel, X-COM: Terror from the Deep, are still among some of my favorite computer/video games of all time. While it may not have the sleek graphics of the new millennium, I’ve been finding UFO Defense to be just as much fun as it was in the 90s. Continue reading

walking around, looking around

You wanna know what men are really thinking? ‘Cause I could tell you. Would you like to know? All right, I’ll tell you. Nothing. We’re not thinking anything. We’re just walking around, looking around. This is the only natural inclination of men.

Jerry Seinfeld, I’m Telling You for the Last Time

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Veronica Mars

They gave me a choice. I could stand by my dad, or stand by Duncan and my dead best friend’s family. I chose Dad. It’s a decision I live with every day. And you want to know the kicker? I don’t even know what’s true anymore.

Though the murder of her best friend Lilly has apparently been solved, Veronica Mars and her private eye father aren’t convinced that the right man is behind bars. This isn’t the only unsolved mystery in Neptune, California, of course; in a town like this, where the rich are corrupt and the poor resentful, where the gap between the two couldn’t be more extreme, there’s no shortage of sensational secrets to be uncovered or customers willing to drop a few bills for some skillful sleuthing. Whether doing legwork for Dad or taking cases of her own on the side, it all makes for quite the after-school job for Veronica … especially when you throw a bunch of PG-13 teenage drama into the mix. Continue reading

Ramayana: Divine Loophole

Sita greeted the stranger and brought water and food for the old man to eat, as was the custom. Her graciousness was not returned in kind, for the moment she stepped out of the protective circle, the man transformed into the demon king. Sita froze at the sight of Ravana’s ten horrible heads. The demon snatched up the princess and sped away on his chariot.

As a reward for his great austerities over many eons, Ravana has been transformed by the creator into the most powerful being on earth. With his demon armies he now wages an unending war on earth and heaven. But Lord Vishnu has discovered the loophole in Brahma’s boon, and has become the mortal prince Rama, the only being capable of defeating the demon king. Continue reading

musicals and missionaries

I’ve had the opportunity recently to talk with a couple of writer friends about my experiences as an LDS missionary in Kenya. You can read their resultant articles online: “Comparing Broadway’s ‘Mormon’ Hit to LDS Missionary Reality” on jweekly.com and “African Saints find hope in the gospel (and perform Book of Mormon productions of their own)” on ldsliving.com. Continue reading