Saturday, February 27, 2010

Let it be known...

Let it be known that pizza, watching movies with friends, exploring creepy buildings with friends, photography, hats, trench coats, and my subaru forester are among the coolest things ever.

I'm so happy that its the weekend. But you know, the only problem with sleeping in until noon on Saturday is that by the time you wake up, there isn't much of the weekend left. I mean...it's two thirty in the afternoon and I still feel like its mid-morning. Still, I think this is going to be a good day. All I have to do homework-wise is a few chemistry problems. The prof gave the problems to us for extra credit since the average exam scores were a little low. So I'm definitely gonna do them, cause I might be able to get an A on a chem exam for the first time in my life!!!!! That would be extremely exciting.

Oh, and I'm also looking for new old buildings to explore. I'm gonna start asking around. I've found a few mills here and there, but I don't want to go anywhere I might bother someone or get arrested too readily. What frustrates me is people always assume you're there to vandalize or sell drugs or alcohol or something. I'm just like "Whats wrong with just being here to explore and take pictures??!! We'll be careful!! I've never even touched drugs or alcohol for goodness sake!!!"

Anyway, I'm off! See ya guys!
--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Matt Update

The speech went splendidly!! I'm glad too, because I rehearsed it over and over the night before until I was hoarse and could hardly talk. But I successfully memorized my seven minute informative speech! The topic I chose was "Music: The Language of Thought". Thank goodness I can relax at least a little bit now.

The Chemistry exam and homework assignment from last week also turned out alright, though I have more homework for this weekend. I don't no about this weeks chem exam or yesterdays french exam yet though.

The photo project that was due today pretty much bombed. It was the final critique, and it felt like mine received an extra large helping of critique. The prof really piled it on, and just tore into it. And then everyone else felt like since he'd been so harsh, they were justified in being really critically too. So yeah, no fun. But, life goes on. I've made addition changes to my project, so...fingers crossed.

I really wish tomorrow wasn't thursday. Thursdays aren't so cool. Classes until 8pm. The worst part is chem lab, bleh. I've already told you about that. But tomorrow will hopefully be a little better, because I'm going to a student game night thing, and then afterwards I think I'm gonna go explore super creepy old buildings with some friends. I'm excited. I love exploring! Caves, creepy buildings, forests, mountains...you name it.

Okay! It's almost one in the morning, so I'm gonna sign off for today. 'Night all!

--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Speech, and more Chemistry

So the Chemistry exam on Wednesday went fairly well, I think. The week's still been pretty busy though, and next week is gonna be about the same. I've got another Chem exam, a French exam, a photography project due, and a seven minute speech to write and memorize. I worked on my speech today. The topic I chose was music and it's affects/connections with the mind. Right now the speech is titled "Music, the Language of Thought." Hopefully it goes well!

Chemistry lab is kind of a joke. Our instructor isn't even a doctor, and I'm not sure she knows how to do a lot of the stuff. I feel really bad for saying that though....I don't wanna be mean. You know how some people are just really really great nice people, they're just really crappy at what they do? I used to get my hair cut from a lady like that. She was really cool, fun to talk to, but she just could not cut hair. Anyway, I turned in a big lab report on thursday, and I hope I get a good grade because she gave everyone in the class an F by default on the first lab report so that "We would be motivated on the next one." Sigh.....I promise she really is a nice person. Just....a crappy teacher.

So I got a chance to play a little bit of Twilight Princess last night with a friend. I'm a big Legend of Zelda fan. I also got to pretend to be homeless. It was pretty amazing. And I got to start reading The Zombie Survival Guide. Coolest. Book. Ever. Do YOU have your zombie plan?? Oh, and I had sushi, hot cocoa, and a Lindor chocolate ball. It was pretty much awesome. Or emosewa! as my friend says. (awesome backwards. I thought she was speaking a different language when she first said it, haha.) :)

Alright everybody, have an emosewa day!

--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hey everybody!

It's super late, so this is gonna be a short post.

I hope you noticed that I've added a couple more playlists. The blog now has some Classic Rock, and some Classical. With that and all the indi rock, electronic, dance, and everything else, I've got a wonderfully eclectic collection of music on my blog. Enjoy.

I have noticed that the playlists from Grooveshark.com don't always work the first time. I usually have to refresh the page once or twice to get them to work. Also, remember that you need the latest flash player for the playlists to work properly.

Anyway, I have been studying like crazy for chemistry, and I have my exam in nine hours. My brain hurts soo much right now. I've been memorizing amino acids and dissociation constants all weekend. Wish me luck guys. I need it.

On a happier note, I got my first photography assignment back (finally), and I totally got an A-. I was quite pleased, because our Prof is supposed to be one of the tougher/more frustrating ones in the department.

Anyway, it's way past my bedtime. Wish me luck on the Chemistry exam! Fingers crossed!

--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

Take some time to enjoy life and the things you love most!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

...Are titles really important?

Oh! Sorry, Anonymous. I forgot to answer your question about Walter Bishop from Fringe. I just want to say that Fringe is a wicked awesome (albeit creepy and at times slightly disturbing) show. And Walter Bishop is basically the coolest mad scientist ever. 'Nough said.

So...I officially dislike Chemistry lab. I used to enjoy thursdays....Sigh....

Anyway, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd post a question that a very good friend (my honorary sister, in fact) asked me a while ago.

She asked: "What is the best, non-creepy way to ask a guy for his phone number?"

My immediate reply was: "Hey! What's your phone number?"

In my opinion, complicated ways of asking someone for a phone number, or even asking someone out on a date just make the whole situation more, well, complicated. I think I can safely say that guys are in general pretty simple. So just ask a simple question! I think a person will feel more comfortable with you if you're comfortable enough with them to ask a direct question. So just be yourself and just ask!

Alright well, that's it for tonight! Take it easy, everybody, and have a great weekend!

Cya!
--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bleh. It's really cold today. And I'm tired....

So Anonymous, what do I think is the difference between a good story and a good book? Well, let me tell you, the differences are great and they are many.

How many times have you looked at the summary on the back of a book and thought it sounded really cool, and then read the first chapter (or maybe not even the whole thing) and been left with a bland or even dusty taste in your mouth? Well I think that's happened to me once before, but I think it was because the tortilla chips I'd been eating were REALLY old....No really. You're interest in the book is largely determined by how much the first chapter--the first few paragraphs even--grab your attention. Just as in public speaking, the introduction is everything!

I mentioned that the Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite stories of all time, but I also said that it wasn't the best book. Why? Because the writing style was meandering and rather dull. Let me give another example: The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini. Though in reading critically I have definitely felt that Paolini's story was heavily influenced by many other great stories (like LOTR, Star Wars, and several others), I think he did succeed in creating an interesting and engaging story, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. However, Paolini's writing style leaves much to be desired. It is very thick, so to speak. From prologue to epilogue I find myself wading through a quagmire of adjectives, adverbs, and SAT words seemingly plucked from a vocab book. Paolini's series has been extremely successful, but not because of his skill as a writer, but because of his skill as a storyweaver.

On the other hand, you can have a great book with.....a pretty sorry story. Quite a few times I have really gotten into a book (I'm a pretty analytical reader, and I look for and really appreciate good writing quality), only to find myself a few chapters in and still not really noticing a very well-defined plot. One of the biggest examples of this for me was Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy. I really like Clancy's writing style. It's engaging and exciting, and it conveys the sense of urgency that is so crucial for a successful novel. But you can only hold the suspense for so long. Eventually, you have to move the story forward. After a while, Clear and Present Danger was frustrating and confusing, because even though the central issue was revealed pretty early on, the majority of the book was introducing this or that character and explaining this or that espionage procedure. Nothing really happened--the operatives didn't even reach Colombia--until you were almost halfway through the book!

In order to create a really worthwhile piece of fiction, you must have a well-crafted writing style: one that keeps focus on the story and allows the reader to get in on the creative process, and a great story that will spark the reader's imagination and make him wish he could be a part of the story and that it would keep going forever. Such a work of literature is a rare and precious gem.

Anyway.

If any of you have read any really great books, feel free to share!

I hope all of you are doing very well, and as always, feel free to ask a question or share your opinion on something. Thanks everybody!

Cya,
--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Questions...

Now that I have a good bit of free time, I'm going to try to start answering some of Mallen's questions.

What is my favorite/the best fantasy novel ever written. I would have to say The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Now, I love this trilogy, in fact we used to read it as a family every year, but it isn't my favorite to read personally. So maybe it isn't so much the best book as it is the best story (yes, there's a huge difference, but we can save that for a different post). The thing is, the fantasy genre as we know it today didn't really exist until Tolkien wrote The Hobbit (which I really really love) and the LOTR trilogy. I would hazard a guess that more than 75% the fantasy books written since then have been influenced by Tolkien in some way. Just think about how many fantasy stories you've read in which a helpless nobody has been chosen for a huge task, and he/she must travel with a ragged group of warriors and wizards to the far reaches of the world to stop some great evil. Plus there's the fact the Tolkien INVENTED Elves and Dwarves as fantasy now knows them. He also made magic and its mysterious masters eternal members of the genre. Of course the similarities often go much much deeper than this, but just think about it. Food for thought...

What are my feelings on space exploration? I'll tell you honestly, I unfortunately know very little about space, but nonetheless I am absolutely fascinated by it. The stars, the moon, other planets....The vastness and beauty of the universe enthralls me. Haha, in fact, some of my friends joke that I must be a werewolf because of my fascination with the moon. When the night sky is clear I'm constantly looking up. I definitely think that space exploration is something that should be pursued, and I think studying other planets (like Venus and Mars in particular), might help us understand our own world better. That being the case, I don't think that space exploration should be our focus either. Frankly, there are much more pressing matters to take care of on this planet first.


I'll leave it at that for now, and give my brain a rest. But oh, btw to answer your other question I think French is the best language. J'aime bien le francais.

Alright, talk to ya later everybody!

--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hey Everybody!

I'm actually writing from an on-campus computer lab today, and class starts in fifteen minutes so I can't talk long.

I wanted to say though that things with the macs and photoshop are looking up! We're learning about photo-retouching and I actually really enjoyed it. During class yesterday I pieced back together an old photo that had been torn in six pieces and made it look like the original. I actually thought it was really fun.

Mallen, thanks for your immense comment on the last post. I'm afraid I don't have nearly enough time to address all your questions, but I will say this: just for you my friend, I will add a playlist with a little Dragonforce, Nightwish, and...hmmm...Linkin Park. Also, you asked about my feelings about Haiti. I really feel like everyone should try to do something, even if it isn't much to help Haiti out. This disaster has really set them back in many ways, and they need every little bit of help they can get. Care packages, clothing donations, donations to charity organizations...there is something everyone can do.

A cool thing that Aeropostale (the clothing company) has been doing (I'm pretty sure they're still doing it) is accepting donations of jeans that they can send to haiti, and when you donate, you get a discount on a new pair of jeans.

There are lots of things like this though, so I would encourage everyone to just think about what you can do. Even if its small, it means a lot.

Alright, well thats all for now, class starts in five minutes, so I gotta run!

Cya guys!

--Matt (the guy in the hat)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Photoshop Frustrations

Okay, so in the art/photography department at my school they have mac computer labs with photoshop cs3. And for my photography assignements, we have to be able to manipulate our photos with photoshop to add variety, blur, etc. And we also have to be able to log onto the class server to save our data. Well.....My computer is always the one that either can't connect to the server, photoshop doesn't work properly, or--this is a new one--all the keys and the mouse are covered in a greasy brown nastiness.....I've come to the conclusion that all the computers in the mac lab have somehow become aware that I am a fan of PCs....and they all hate me for it.

Anyway, talk to you soon,

Matt (the guy in the hat)