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Title: 360 or PS3?
Posted: August 08, 2010 (12:03 AM)
I've been having trouble deciding on which one of those to get because it seems like most games are released on both of them now. What are the worthwhile exclusives on both consoles? I wish someone would do a side-by-side comparison. I know PS3 has inFamous, God of War and Metal Gear (but only inFamous interests me) and 360 has Halo. I heard the 360 version of Bayonetta was better at release, but that a patch was released for the PS3 version that fixed its problems.

Any comments? For a long time I was set on a PS3 but now I'm leaning towards the box.

Title: The Last Airbender
Posted: July 29, 2010 (05:40 PM)
When I first heard rumors that there was going to be a movie adaption of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I seriously considered writing M. Night Shyamalan a letter asking to audition for the part of Zuko or Sokka. I was so engrossed in the series at the time that I wanted to bring it to life myself. It was a momentary passion, one inspired by the most beautiful American-made cartoon of all time -- epic and action-packed yet sincere and endearing, Avatar: The Last Airbender won the hearts of millions, many of them outside of its intended 6-11 age demographic.

Having seen the movie now, Iím glad nothing came of that plan.

Iím sure some will say that I should not have gotten my hopes up, and the truth is that I was immediately skeptical about The Last Airbender, if only because of the dubious history of franchise medium translations. I was also skeptical when I heard the project was given to Shyamalan (a director whose work I am not especially fond of) and that the film featured no Asian actors whatsoever. Itís not like I didnít know better. Yet despite my skepticism, I held onto a sliver of hope that The Last Airbender would do the series justice. At the very least, I figured that even if it wasnít on par with the the cartoon series, it might still make for an entertaining fantasy action flick.

Shyamalan defied even most conservative expectations by making a horrible movie by any standard, one that not even several online reviews could have prepared me for. It was the worst movie I had seen in a long time, and the words of one critic describe it perfectly: ďSurely the worst botch of a fantasy epic.Ē

The Last Airbender is actually very faithful to the series in the sense that it changes few facts or elements of the timeline. It is unfaithful in the sense that it fails to bring its world and characters to life, or in any way channel the seriesí spirit and personality. Everything from Shyamalanís script (they let him write it) to his lamentable cast are responsible for making this happen. The opening, which attempts to set the stage for the movie, scrolls text while Nicola Peltz narrates the same words at the same time. The poor writing and noticeable mispronunciation of ďAvatarĒ were early warning signs that my worst fears were about to come true. All Shyamalan had to do here was replicate the introduction of the seriesí first episode.

The next fifteen minutes involve Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone exchanging non-sequiturs, exposition and bullshit in what is some of the most poorly written and stiffly delivered dialogue in any movie that even pretends to take itself seriously:

Aang: We were forced under the water of the ocean.
Katara: Oh...I see.

Noah Ringer has no acting experience, a fact made painfully evident by this film. Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone are even worse despite having some experience, and itís obvious that they were both thrown in just because they are pretty faces. Jackson Rathbone pisses me off in particular. Nicola Peltz is at least on track with her character, though in the end she fails because of both the script and her own inabilities. Rathbone on the other hand is among the least faithful to his character, and itís safe to say that his inclusion was part of a move to capture the horny teenage girl demographic.

Things hardly get better from there -- there are just too many things wrong with this movie, from miscast Indian actors trying much too hard to feign villainy to Shyamalanís incompetent directing and storytelling. The script is bad enough, but Shyamalan never even has any idea where to put the camera or his actors, whether itís during an action scene or even a conversation. The camera is too close when it needs to be back a bit, and too far when it needs to be in your face. At times, narration displaces dialogue and action entirely, which has the effect of creating huge lapses in the development of both the movieís narrative and characters, which is already quite thin and disfigured to begin with. Much of what dialogue there is serves the purpose of exposition rather than actual interaction between characters.

No matter who got to direct The Last Airbender, one of the obvious problems the movie would have had to face is the task of condensing over 400 minutes of the seriesí first season into a movie. The series engages in a lot of side-storytelling, and even if this movie had been three hours long, many of the side-stories would need to be cut. Shyamalan makes the mistake of allowing only 94 minutes for the plot and the characters to develop, and the result is that they donít. It would have been a challenge to be sure, but the accomplishments of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films prove that it is not by any means insurmountable. (And Peter Jackson arguably faced a much bigger challenge than Shyamalan.) Done right, The Last Airbender should have been a three hour movie. It should have cut out some of the more incidental escapades and characters, while still allowing the principals time and opportunity to flourish, grow and live. Although, considering how The Last Airbender ultimately turned out, perhaps itís for the best that it only runs for an hour and a half.

Shyamalan not only failed to meet his challenges; he couldnít even get the easy stuff right. The Last Airbender is not only a bad movie; it utterly fails to even be an entertaining popcorn flick. The action is consistently unimpressive and the special effects seem as though they could have been done at least ten years ago, if not more. The soundtrack is composed with some technical skill but is conspicuously bombastic, a painful mismatch with the underwhelming fight scenes and broken storytelling. He didnít even have the courtesy to pronounce the following names correctly: Avatar, Aang, Sokka, Iroh, Agni Kai. This is so braindead simple. I have seen some ridiculous posts floating around the Internet that these are the ďreal, AsianĒ pronunciations and that the cartoon ďAmericanizedĒ them for ease of pronunciation. The cartoon is American-made, and the real pronunciations are the ones that people heard in the sixty episodes that they watched over the course of three years.

There are so many things wrong with The Last Airbender, but the absolute worst is the fact that so many people are going to see this movie and get the wrong impression. Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the best works of fiction of the past decade, and many people will never know this simply because it is a Nickelodeon cartoon. The Last Airbender was a golden opportunity to reach out to new audiences, much in the way Peter Jackson enchanted an entirely new generation of people with The Lord of the Rings.

When you compare this movie to even just the first two episodes of the series, the cartoon has better acting, writing and fight choreography; it even has more drama. The scene where Aang enters the Avatar state for the first time in the series, when he is unconscious under water while Katara calls out to him -- these thirty seconds are more electrifying than all 94 minutes of Shyamalanís film.

Given the fact that The Last Airbender is supposed to be only the first movie in a trilogy, thereís still time for damage control. Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko need to cut their losses, take the project away from Shyamalan and give it to a new director who will recast it entirely. The second wisest course of action would be to leave the trilogy unfinished at 33.3%.
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Title: Favorite video game trailers
Posted: July 17, 2010 (06:09 PM)
As someone who is deeply interested in video games, I watch a lot of video game trailers, which has in itself become a pleasurable activity for me. I'm willing to bet that at least a few of you here share this interest with me. The following are two of my favorite video game trailers.

I think this is quite possibly the best video game trailer of all time. Nearly everything about it exemplifies how a trailer should be done, except for maybe the length, but in spite of that it is still more compelling than many shorter trailers. The music is appropriately and genuinely epic; it varies in a captivating manner, cooling down after a while before exploding back into action. It is paired with similarly powerful imagery that highlights the personality of the game's artistic style.

Unfortunately, as one comment on the video remarks, "Sadly the game wasnt anywhere near as good as the trailer would lead us to believe :(" and this is a sentiment I am in complete agreement with. The trailer benefited from the quick-cut pacing of modern cinema, so it is shorn of the several hundred undramatic details that accompany the actual game. Perhaps Xenosaga would have made better anime than video game.

I think this is technically the introduction to this game, but it looks and feels like a trailer - it involves a lot of short, out-of-order clips with a song in the background. Though, as with the previous trailer, it is difficult to consider music this forceful "background music," and I think they both demonstrate how important music is for a good trailer.

Part of my enjoyment from this trailer comes from being a Berserk fan. Berserk has the effect of making its viewers/readers fall in love with its characters, so the clip in which Guts and Casca start getting intimate actually makes me a little emotional, particularly because it seems like a fantasy sequence. I also like how the clips depict how Guts brutalizes, not just kills, demons.
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Title: You are my thesaurus
Posted: June 12, 2010 (06:09 PM)
Is there a word that means "to give feedback"? Criticize is one, but it apparently carries negative connotations and I'm looking for something that looks favorably on a resume. Evaluate is another, but linguistically it does not imply that there is a recipient.
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Title: A trip to the dentist
Posted: June 09, 2010 (02:58 PM)
Following my graduation I went to a local dentist for a check-up, because I had neglected to visit the dentist during my college career. I was told that I had several cavities and that I should get my wisdom teeth removed. They said that this was not uncommon for recent college graduates because the college lifestyle is in some ways hostile to healthy teeth. In particular, I was told that alcohol, something I consumed a lot of over the past three years, is bad for your teeth. Perhaps this is why British folk are infamous for their bad teeth?

In any case, I had my first appointment for teeth drilling last week. I knew it was the right thing to do as far as my health was concerned, and I had no fear or anxiety about it. If anything, the knowledge that I was getting something taken care of before it became a serious problem was comforting to me. The dentist even remarked that I must have a high pain threshold, because the cavities didn't seem to bother me (which they didn't).

This particular office had a pecular setup with a computer monitor attached to the large crane-like machine in most dentist offices (or at least the ones I've been to). It is used for practical purposes, such as running a program that allows patients to view the x-rays of their teeth as they are captured. It is also used to let patients watch movies when they are getting their teeth drilled, because, in the dentist's words "it's probably more entertaining than counting the tiles on the ceiling."

I was told that I should pick something I've already seen, because I wouldn't have the same attention if I were watching it at home or in a theater. I chose to watch Avatar. They turned out to be right, as I often found my eyes wandering away from the movie, though mostly because its position required me to point my eyes downward. This also meant that I was looking under the lens of my glasses, so I couldn't see very well. Sometimes their hands got in the way too. I had headphones though, so I listened, and since I had already seen the movie, I knew what was going on based on the dialogue. While watching listening to it, I couldn't help noticing what caricatures the characters were. Ultimately, I think music, rather than movies, would probably work better, but I'm not complaining.

The procedure took an hour and five minutes (or at least that's how far I got into Avatar). After it was done, I got up quickly, went to the front desk, and started asking a bunch of questions, such as whether or not I had to wait a while before eating and what the final bill was. As I was standing there, I started feeling exhausted very suddenly, and then I actually said "I feel really exhausted." The next thing I remember, I was lying down on the floor, with three of the women who worked their crouched down, looking at me. I was told that I had passed out, and for a few seconds while I was still on the floor, I felt utterly horrible. I quickly felt better when I got up and sat in a chair. They gave me some free food and juice, which I actually thought was a pretty good deal, since I had spent over 400 on the teeth. I thought I felt fine at first, but I ended up feeling a little shitty for the rest of the day.

It was the first time I had ever passed out in my life and I'm not sure why it happened. I have given blood, I have had similar dental procedures, and I have been in many extremely physically stressful situations. I was very casual and unemotional about the procedure, and I have never really understood other people's fear of going to the dentist. There was nothing mental about it. The people at the office said it was probably a combination of getting out of the chair too quickly and having low blood pressure (which they actually took) from not eating enough that day. (I had a bagel and a little bit of oatmeal, but this appointment started at 2 PM.)
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Title: Can I trust job postings on careerbuilder.com?
Posted: June 07, 2010 (06:44 PM)
For some reason I'm really skeptical about a lot of them.

Here's the website for one posting: http://image-mktg.com/
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Title: It's finally over.
Posted: May 28, 2010 (02:36 PM)
On May 17th I had my graduation ceremony, and on May 20th I moved to San Diego. The title here isn't necessarily an expression of relief; rather, it signifies the sudden and complete end of an entire episode of my life - one whose conventions, routines, customs, and expectations enveloped my sensibilities so completely for five years - and the transition to an entirely new one.

When I started my last year of school, I felt like I still had plenty of time. When I started my last semester, I became acutely aware that I didn't. This last year, and especially this last semester, were the best. Some of the new people I met during the year are among the best friends I've made, and I also developed better friendships with people I already knew.

Part of it was the comfort of familiarity. I had already spent four years in Berkeley and two years in my crazy coop house, so I already knew the area, some people, and how to navigate the institutions. But I also mixed things up, tried new stuff, and took risks. I joined new clubs, dabbled in improv in my last semester, asked girls out even within a month of my graduation, went to events that I had never been to before (such as lovefest). In my last week, I went into the house sauna for the first time ever, twice, and with a naked coed group (crowded and cozy). It was hot in there!

Part of it may have also just been appreciating it more because I knew it was going to end soon. I said several sentimental goodbyes in the last month - they usually involved telling certain individuals that it was a pleasure living with them. I tried hanging out with a girl in my last few days but she didn't get me back in time, so my college experience almost ended on a disappointing note.

Things made a turn for the better on the morning of the day I moved out. I ran into a girl who I had tried to ask out running, but who had backed out because of claims of being embarrassed about being sweaty, dirty, and otherwise visibly exerted around people. She told me that it was nice living with me, and I told her that I always thought she was a really interesting person and that I wish we had gotten to know each other better. She gave me a hug for the first time in the two years that I knew her (though only one year as housemates). We exchanged a few more words, and I left shortly after because my ride to the airport was already waiting.

And now...life is not quite at its best. I'm facing the realities of loan debt, building a resume, getting a job, buying a car, etc. At the moment my social life is nonexistent because my old one has disappeared. I need to build a new one, in a new place and under difference circumstances, while also trying to keep in touch with the friends who are really important to me. I have a new life.

Here are some pictures of what is now the old one:

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Title: 3 girls, 2 guys
Posted: May 09, 2010 (01:30 AM)
We had another semesterly Marti Gras party at my house, the last one for me since I'm graduating. The attendance was a little smaller than it was in the past, and it wasn't as structured as in the past. It was still crazy though. People sometimes refer to it as a "make-out party," which certainly makes sense, though it's more of a "lots of crazy shit" party. Lots of naked bodies, people doing things they wouldn't do at any other time. It's kind of like having an MTV-style spring break party, but with a real people aesthetic.

The way it basically works is propositioning people to make out or do crazy shit by offering or asking for beads, which are used as currency. At one point two girls came up to me asking for beads for them to make out with each other. I said something to the effect that this was nothing special and that I would accommodate them if I were involved in some way. So I ended up making out with both of them at the same time. A little later one of them came back for more, and we made out again for what felt like a long time. I had my eyes closed, but I think a lot of people were watching. We were standing dead center in the hallway surrounded by two or three dozen people. As it happened, I felt a cool sensation on my shirtless back; someone poured chocolate sauce all over me.

The last girl I made out with was a really hot girl who I have hardly ever talked to. I don't remember the exact details of how it was initiated or how we even came to be in proximity of each other, but I do know that it was done for me as a favor by a friend. I thanked him the next morning, told him I owed him one, and asked him at least twice, "wait, did I really make out with her?"

Making out with girls that night went surprisingly smoothly without too many awkward personal dynamics. Guys, on the other hand, ended up being a different story. I made out with a friend for a bit, but just incidentally as part of an unsuccessful attempt at a six-person make-out that was thwarted by spatial problems. I also made out with this one guy on the dance floor who was really into me and kept coming back for more, until I eventually realized that he really wanted to fuck me and had to be like "okay, I'm done now." He asked me why I was such a tease, the answer to which was "Because I'm not gay." In fact, I'm not sure how much I actually like admitting that I made out with a guy.

As usual, most of my activities were tame compared to what went on around me. People licking condiments off various body parts (including genitalia), naked baby oil wrestling, someone successfully requesting everyone on the dance floor to take their pants off, etc.

I didn't get laid, but I managed to get my drunkenness exactly right for once. I didn't black out, but I drank enough to be exquisitely unsober. The craziness subsided eventually, and at 4 AM I was just chilling with a dozen or so people in the dining room, eating and talking about shit.

True to my nerdy nature though, the night ended in video games. Some time between 4:30 and 5 AM most people had gone to sleep, but I saw some people playing Samurai Shodown V on our house Neo Geo machine. I was playing with this one guy for like an hour or so. There were two other people in the room at the same time who would occasionally say stuff to us while we were playing ("man, you guys are really hardcore"). I didn't notice it much because I was tired, still drunk, and really into the game. Eventually they caught our attention with this: "HEY FUCKERS! It's light outside." We observed this true fact, played one more game, and then stopped. I finally got to bed at about 6 AM.

I will probably never experience anything like this ever again.
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Title: Question to any guide writers here
Posted: May 03, 2010 (05:55 PM)
About how long does it take you to write a guide? It would actually be nice if you could give me an average, and the two extremes (shortest and longest).
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Title: God of War III
Posted: April 30, 2010 (05:50 PM)
First I would like to thank anyone who provided any input on my last blog. It will help me out a lot. If anyone else has something to add, feel free to do so, as it's not due until the 7th.

So anyway, I played God of War III recently on a friend's PS3, and I would say it's probably the worst game in the series. I would probably give it a 7/10. It basically climaxes in the first 45 minutes of play and then the rest feels pretty routine. It also became practically painful whenever it tried to be moralizing or inspirational. ("Hope is what we fight for when all is lost!" - or whatever). I did find that it was the first God of War game in which I did not spend the overwhelming majority of the time using his chainblades though. When I got Hades' claws, I used those, until I got the Nemean Cestus, which became my permanent weapon for the rest of the game. Didn't bother much with the Nemesis Whip. Interestingly, given what we know about Kratos' phoenix-like tendencies, I don't think the ending even rules out the possibility of yet another God of War game.

I found myself making a lot of comparisons between this game and Devil May Cry 4. Devil May Cry 4 and God of War III were both the first installments of popular action series on the current generation of consoles, and in a way they both just did what they usually did, except with better graphics. In terms of design and mechanics, they play basically the same as their predecessors, but they look a lot prettier. The strange thing here is that DMC4 was met with only moderately positive reviews, while God of War III is highly critically acclaimed. I found this strange because between the two, DMC4 is definitely the more experimental and ambitious (or less conservative and less unambitious, depending on how you look at it), and also the deeper and mechanically more refined action game. I especially couldn't help noticing how incredibly similar the final boss battles were, and how much more challenging and exhilarating DMC4's was.

I guess I always thought DMC was the superior action game though. Like as much as I like the original God of War, I did think it was a simpler, more accessible and more forgiving game compared to DMC, one more tailored to the masses.
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Title: Why do you contribute to HonestGamers?
Posted: April 27, 2010 (10:20 PM)
I'm supposed to write a paper for a class about technology and work, and I've chosen to do it on a subject we went over in class called crowdsourcing. More narrowly, I've chosen to do it on video game information sites that employ this technique or model, the prototypical example of which is a site we are all familiar with: GameFAQs.

HonestGamers is also an example of crowdsourcing, albeit on a much smaller scale. It does seem that the most prolific contributors are staff, but this site has amassed over 6000 reviews in part because of the open call for users to contribute.

To my knowledge most of you who are users have not been compensated in any way, yet you still contribute, which ultimately benefits the site. For the purposes of my assignment, it would help me greatly if you could respond here with your personal motivations for contributing here, and what you feel you get out of it. If some of you have actually been compensated or rewarded in some way, tell me that too (unless Jason doesn't want you to for some reason). I have actually received gift certificates in the past. It would also help if you could tell me why you continue to contribute over the course of several years and why you think this particular site and community is able to sustain itself - that is, continually produce content - the way it does.

Any input from anyone would be very much appreciated, but especially those who have contributed much without ever being full-time staff.

Thank you.

Posted: April 19, 2010 (12:37 AM)
As of today, I graduate in less than a month. My commencement date is May 17th. It's been five years, ten long semesters.

When I tell people this, they congratulate me. They automatically perceive it as a joyful happening and sometimes even vicariously extend their own happiness.

It is a milestone to be sure. A Bachelor's degree will put me in a higher stratum of society. Because college has become the daily routine of my life, I have also become somewhat desensitized to the fact that I am getting my degree from the most prestigious public university in the world, and one of the most prestigious universities overall. This too will offer me an advantage over other people - possibly opening doors that even my intelligence and knowledge won't - one that I am not sure I truly deserve.

But what really occupies my thoughts as of late is a reflection of the time I've spent here. College hasn't been everything I expected, wanted, or hoped. There are things I wish I had done but didn't and things I did that I wish I hadn't.

I wish I had involved myself in student groups earlier on than I did. In my first year I led a very insular life, my social sphere consisting almost solely of my dorm floor. I wish had done some kind of academic thing that I could put on my resume. Despite my prestigious degree, my resume is otherwise going to be very unimpressive. I wish I hadn't lived in the dorms for two years. I wish I had been more consistent about asking girls out, instead of alternating between periods of concerted effort and complete inactivity. I wish I hadn't come dangerously close to flunking out, sinking my GPA so much that it could only be pulled back up so much higher. I wish I had generally been more boldly and consistently outgoing instead of frequently retreating to the comfort of video games and solitude.

Of course, the problem with regret is that you're looking back on an experience with the wisdom you gained from the way it actually happened. My past actions reflected my knowledge, readiness, and maturity at that time. Had I actually done any of those things differently, I might be a very different person today, for better or for worse. So many seemingly trivial and inconsequential events and decisions brought me where I am today, many of which I probably don't even remember.

I don't mean to say that I had a horrible college experience at all. I met a lot of people, I learned a lot, especially outside of the class room, and I was challenged on a daily basis. I opted to lead a very social college life of partying, and in the past three years I have probably consumed more alcohol than most people will in their entire lives. Especially once I moved into the coop, there were more times during college when I said to myself "this really is the life" or "this really makes it all worthwhile" than before college. And I'm a little sad about having to leave it all behind in less than a month.

When I went home for spring break, my father had a computer screensaver with pictures of me (and friends) in high school. I was 17 then; I soon turn 23. Physically, I look almost exactly the same today as I did back then. I literally haven't grown an inch. Figuratively, I have grown...well, an unquantifiable amount, but it's large.

The biggest difference between then and now, is that I used to be almost totally socially retarded. I knew so little of actual people and the real world, and I mostly lived in the exhilarating and romantic fantasies of my video games (some of the Final variety) and books. Today, I consider myself a legitimate, socially functional human being. This, above all else, is what I will take with me from my college experience.

I apologize for yet another long-winded blog entry in which I wax sentimental, but I am about to undergo the biggest change of my life.
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Title: Drugs
Posted: March 18, 2010 (05:35 PM)
I take it for granted that for the past three years I've lived in a place where drugs are accessible and their use isn't exactly out of the ordinary. Drug use is generally recreational rather than addictive, and both house management and members are pretty vigilant about making sure that it is safe and controlled.

At my weekly meeting of Toastmasters (an international organization for practicing public speaking), a friend of mine gave a speech on how he experienced firsthand his roommate's drug abuse, which forced his roommate to drop out of school. For him it reaffirmed his inclination to not do drugs and those slogans about not doing them.

While I was in a convenience store with some people from the Berkeley Undergraduate Sociology Association, I remarked that "I like Coke," as someone was buying one. Someone jokingly interpreted that as cocaine, which actually resulted in a conversation where I disclosed that I had done such drugs as cocaine, MDMA and acid before. The club president (who is gay and I think likes me) was noticeably surprised.

Strangely enough, I walked out into the common space of my 150 student house today, and saw about six or seven of my housemates filling out statements for something. I asked around, and apparently one of the house dealers, who I have bought marijuana and MDMA from, OD'ed. A floormate went into his room just to say hi and found him. I'm not sure how he's doing so far, but I hope he's okay. He's a good guy.
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Title: Lovelife updates!
Posted: March 12, 2010 (12:42 PM)
There's this girl in my house who I liked. She's blonde and pretty and has an interesting way of talking.

About three weeks ago I asked if she wanted to go out for a run since it came up in conversation that it was one of her activities. I chose this because it's pretty casual, it's something we have in common, and since it's something she already does, presumably she wouldn't need to make extra time for it. At the time, she said yes, gave me a time frame ("maybe Thursday, otherwise the weekend"), and even said "you're going to see a totally different side of me." It sounded very promising.

Friday of that same week I ran into her and asked if she was up for a run on Saturday, but she said she was really busy. I then said "how about Sunday?" and she said she had a midterm and was booked. I didn't expect this contingency and was pretty disappointed. I also couldn't help the paranoia that maybe she just didn't want to run with me but wouldn't say so, and I had no way of knowing for sure.

From then until now I only ran into her a few times and just made very brief small talk. I ran into her last night, and asked, "hey, when are we going to go running?" At this point I wasn't expecting an affirmative response, but what I got was even weirder than what I expected. She said something like:

"To be honest, I don't think I like running with people. I blow my nose and burp and breathe really heavily while I'm running. It's really embarrassing. It would probably change your perspective on me."

My response was basically, "Okay, well if you change your mind, let me know."

At this point I'm basically going to leave it at that. I don't think I'm going to make any extra effort to talk to her beyond when we happen to run into each other, and I'm certainly not going to press the issue about running.

I'm also feeling more certain about my original paranoid feelings. I told this story to a friend and said that it kind of sounds like bullshit. His response was:

"Kind of? You mean it didn't smell like bullshit?"

It originally seemed kind of pointless to me to keep trying to ask girls out in my last semester of college. I eventually saw it as an opportunity to work on my skills while being relatively detached from the results.

I have a new prospect, someone younger who I know even less. I was planning to talk to her and ask her out at these weekly student organization meetings, but as it turned out, there happened to not be a meeting this week! So I have to try next week, which is right before Spring Break, which means even less time. Oh well, I already know not to expect much under the circumstances.
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Title: Oscar reactions
Posted: March 08, 2010 (04:20 PM)
Not totally surprised Avatar didn't win best picture. As much as I liked the movie, I will concede that the acting and the writing are not so spectacular. I mentioned in a previous blog that a lot of the reason I liked it was the particular fairy tale story it uses, which is practically designed to fill you with lots of strong emotions as long as it's executed well enough, which Avatar was.

I saw Hurt Locker, the winner, and while the acting is certainly better than Avatar, I don't think it deserved to win. My reaction to Hurt Locker was that it was a movie with a lot of potential that never really reaches it. The acting is great despite being filled with nobodies, but it's poorly paced, has no real plot, and ultimately doesn't amount to much beyond the hackneyed "war is hell" motif.

I think District 9 deserved it. Highly original, action-packed, but also very intelligent, loaded with meaning, and much more nuanced than both Avatar and Hurt Locker. I didn't know what to expect when I started watching that movie, but I think there's pretty much nothing else like it.

I didn't see the other two movies.
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