Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Shallow Ocean

Ankle deep in the cool waves of the northern Atlantic stood James Ward.

He was the foremost scientist of his generation. No one knew the seas like Ward. He had even gained notoriety with the publication of his cleverly alliterated book Ward's Wonderful World of Water.

The awkward piece of his life came not in his studies, but rather in the strange way in which he treated the ocean. Ward lived every day of his life teaching from the ocean itself; never more than knee deep. He would lecture to groups of marine biology students with a whiteboard anchored from the constant ebb of the waves. Shin-soaked he taught oceanographers of nuance in water temperature and its affect on the global climate. Yet, he never swam.

On particularly sunny days he had been know to pontificate from his aquatic pulpit on the long term health benefits of swimming. When a group returned from a study of the Marianas Trench, they went to Ward to speak of the beauty of the deep ocean. Ward was more than obliged to compare notes and nod sternly at the research. With furrowed brow he could be found starring at scuba equipment as divers used his makeshift classroom as a launch site for expedition.

Grimacing, James Ward stood ankle deep in the cool, relentless waves of the Atlantic.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Top 5 Rock Records of the 90's

Oh, to fan the flames of overwrought controversy.

Here is the definitive list of the 5 best Rock Albums recorded in the 1990's. If you don't like it, comment and correct.

1. Weezer - Weezer (the Blue Album): Unbelievable hooks, catchy lyrics, and every song is amazing.

2. Counting Crows - August and Everything After: Beautiful from start to finish. The lyrics are cryptic and sometimes haunting.

3. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity: Though the album has a few songs that are not gems, the 14 song masterpiece is incredible. It also ends with a 14 minute tribute to A Prayer for Owen Meany (the greatest novel of the late 20th century)

4. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind: Known mostly for the commercial success of Semi-Charmed life, this record is amazing from the word go. The album has the best final 5 songs of any album of the decade.

5. Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen: The lyrics and the music on this quirky, sometimes sad jam are unbelievable.

All Apologies List: Nirvana - Nevermind, The Juliana Theory - Understand this is a Dream, Radiohead - OK Computer, Clueless - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Blink 182 - Enema of the State.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blackjack and Han Solo

So a few weeks ago Angie and I went out on a Friday night. A nice dinner, a decent movie. We saw 21, the new Kevin Spacey flick. It couldn't go wrong with Spacey in it since he is the greatest actor. Ever. If you live in a cave and don't know what the movie is about, it is the story of a poor Harvard student who learns to count cards and becomes a Vegas legend. Predictable plot. Simple dialogue. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable.

The real problem I have with the movie is the effect it has on me.



So I was reading my friend's blog last week. He was talking about how we act like Batman as men. It was great. Check it out here. And it got me thinking...what mythical/comic book/fantasy hero am I? I tucked this away and thought about it for a while.

Here's where 21 comes in. I see movies about Havard or any other snooty Ivy league school and I think that is where I belong.

I have delusions of grandeur.

Just like Han Solo.

Han Solo thinks that he is the king of all Space Pirates. He has (supposedly) the fastest ship in the galaxy...in reality it is a thrown together, makeshift, pile of bolts in need of constant repair.

Han Solo portrays himself as the man, yet he deeply struggles with his own insecurities.

His actions often betray his self perception. He acts like he is leaving, then stays. He talks a big game, because he thinks he is big game.

But he isn't. He is just a dude. By in large he is simply above average. Maybe.

I am Han Solo. I think I'm a pretty big deal. But I'm not. I 'm just a dude.

I cover my insecurities with pride.