Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Couple of Items...

  • I never seem to know when a post will strike a chord with people, so it's funny to me when a post will get so much response. Today's was one of those. I got several texts and chats from people wondering who I was referring to. If you're wondering if it's you, well you're just never going to know. Most of the people who peruse Rollin' in my 6-4 (InclinedtoRecline) actually don't cross paths, so y'all are never gonna know if I'm referring to someone in one camp or another. The funny thing is that I'm not really fuming at anyone or anything, but sometimes a subject just comes across better when it gets injected with vigor, know what I mean?
Back to less exciting stuff...
  • My new running shoes arrived in the mail today. It was actually even nice enough out to go running outside in a t-shirt and shorts, that is, if you're an idiot (e.g. me). Most of the run was pretty pleasant, but it got kind of cold towards the end. It was my first run in months that I ran without a specific destination, time, or distance in mind and I always seem to forget that those end up being some of my favorite runs. You push through various aches and pains until you finally hit your running stride where you're not thinking about how hard it is to breathe or how your arch hurts or whatever, and then you're just in the flow. I think the optimal time for that window is between 40 minutes and 2 hours. That will sound crazy to some of you, but I swear it's the best length of time to run.
  • I've been listening to podcasts from The Moth because I'm all up to date on This American Life, and I think I really like it. They're true stories from typical people performed at some club or bar in New York. Storytelling is a skill that I really love and that I'd love to develop. You wanna know a tradition that I want to start some day? For Halloween I want to have a storytelling night where a group of us gather around a fire or some candle light and everyone rehearses stories and then presents them to the group. I think the only rules would be that everyone has to participate who is present, and stories must be at least a minute long, but no longer than 15 minutes.

  • There are various tools available to a storyteller, from tone of voice, to humor, and even seemingly unrelated things like well planned tangential remarks. I listened to this one guy tell a mostly unremarkable story about his childhood, but because his cadence and delivery were so unusual, it totally worked. I'm not a performer by any means, but I think it would be really fun to have everyone work on something for a few weeks and then bring it all to enjoy together in what's hopefully a safe and inviting atmosphere. I have some friends that are really funny and really great storytellers to begin with, so I think there is a lot of potential there as it stands. Plus, that's something kind of unique, but that I think would be really fun. Or no?
  • Because I've heard a few questions/remarks about the topic since I mentioned it on here, my GPA as an undergrad was still good, about a 3.7. The problem has never been to get good grades, but just caring enough to invest the time to get straight A's. I always tend to have my hand in a lot of different baskets so grades tend to dip a little bit. During my last two years as an undergrad at BYU I took more than 16 credits a semester, worked about 20-25 hours a week, was a member of a student editorial board for the Journal of College Counseling, and had multiple research projects while studying for the GRE, applying to grad schools, and with a serious girlfriend. So lay off of me. It's not like I was just messing around.
  • My pillow post prompted a conversation with a friend about making my own pillows, and upon consulting with other friends more knowledgeable about the subject than myself, I have since decided that I'm going to try and make my own. They're just pillows. I've gutted and remodeled a whole bathroom, I think I can make a pillow. It's not rocket science, right? I'm gonna figure this one out.
  • I was reading an article tonight for my MBA class about motivation, and one of the topics they mention in there is self-efficacy, which is this: Self-efficacy is the strong belief, the conviction that "I can cause...I can bring about...I can make happen..." It has mostly to do with how effective you believe you are. As evidenced by the last bullet point, my self-efficacy is very high. I think I can pretty much do anything if I try hard enough. I think this is part of why my modesty score on that personality test was so low.
  • I saw Invictus on Monday. I liked it more than The Blindside, partly because I'm too familiar with the real story of The Blindside because I read the book, but mostly because I hate that The Blindside is a feel good movie that is masquerading as a sports movie. There is like one football scene. I also don't like that most of the male portrayals in The Blindside are kind of moronic, weak, or otherwise submissive, while the only strong person is Sandra Bullock. In the book, the father and the coach actually have a much bigger role in Oher's life. In the book you get the feeling of 'it takes a village to raise a child', whereas the movie gives this sense of 'it takes one sassy white woman to change a black kid' vibe, and I don't care for that so much.
That's all I got for tonight. Peace!


kent said...

Did you read Bill Simmons' take on Invictus and The Blind Side?

It's interesting that you didn't like the Blind Side because it masqueraded as a sports movie, and it wasn't. But you say it as though Invictus was a sports movie.

I guess it always, or usually comes down to expectations. You actually read the Blind Side book so of course the movie is going to be disappointing for you. Movies can never live up to the book. My expectations were extremely low for the Blind Side. I thought there would be more sports, but when there weren't I was surprised, but wasn't really expecting a sports movie anyways. Whereas with Invictus, I was expecting a sports movie and was a little disappointed. I didn't learn a thing about rugby in a rugby movie and I also think that the rugby team played much more of a role in the unifying of the country than how it was portrayed in the movie.

You would think that based on my rant I'm really passionate about this issue and these movies. I'm not though. Just bored at work.

Silvs said...

I think I mostly agree with Bill. The Blindside was way too Hollywood, and Invictus wasn't enough. I'm only comparing the two as sports movies and saying that Invictus comes out as more of a sports movie than The Blindside mostly because it had at least 30 minutes of Rugby footage. The Blindside had one 5 minute scene. And I think the movie revolved largely around the Rugby team, how passionate people were about it, how much it mattered to the country, and how Mandela saw that as his opportunity to try and unite the country. I also liked it more because I felt that there were more poignant moments in Invictus than there were in The Blindside.

You're right, expectations make all the difference in the world. I saw The Blindside after I read your review and saw about 20 comments on Facebook about how amazing the movie was. I think it's mostly a movie for women. It really bothered me that the husband kind of becomes a sideshow in the movie when he was the one that was really the driving force behind getting Oher included in the family, and he was the one doing all the talking in that meeting with the person from the NCAA. The coach was also a huge factor, but instead they got turned into cartoons.

Bill's article is kinda interesting, but he keeps lamenting about how predictable the movie is, but is there anyway of making any of it unpredictable? I think he's too much of a critic in that article. Although I would have to agree with him that the movie is a little too slow and dry.

There's some more for you to chew on while at work. Go!