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Thursday, July 28, 2005

yawn... Hey, wait, does this blog still exist?


Nice of you to stick around for so long. Y'know, the second season of Battlestar Galactica has started, and -Bl'bah!- is it a disappointment. The first episode was completely filler, in which nothing remotely interesting happens. It was written by two writers from DS9, and it shows: it's as bad as a DS9 episode, through and through. Just like in DS9, what is considered plot development is not actual growth of the character, but just telling the viewer about something irrelevant that happened years ago. As for what's happening in the present, the only real character development is the revelation that many of the crew are completely and ridiculously incompetent. This is not what I call good drama; this is what I call DS9-bad. Oh, and there were a few shamelessly gratuitous action scenes thrown in just for the sake of having action scenes. The next episode was not much better; the creators of the show were going for an action episode and couldn't get it right.

But there is hope. The reason these episodes seem like filler is because they are filler. According to Ronald D. Moore (the excellent writer from Star Trek who created and produces this iteration of BSG), the aftermath of the first season only wraps up in the seventh episode of this season, so maybe this should still (story-wise) be considered part of the first! Maybe then we'll get our quality episodes which befit the beginning of a season for such an esteemed show.

I've been replaying Myst IV, watching episodes of DS9 (about 10% of the show's episodes are actually good), watching movies,
Oh, right. I've been sort of dodging the issue, haven't I? Well, you know, I don't really need to apologize, this is my blog, they stayed here voluntarily, you know, and besides, I'm not really dodging the issue, you know, so much as just sort of walking-
Okay, fine! Look, IFs, it's just that, well, I'm having fun now. Now that I'm out of school. I made this blog because I needed it, and now I don't. Beside, I've never been able to keep myself interested in anything (or anyone, for that matter) for more than a few months at a time, and my blog is no different. It's not that I have nothing to say -for the past few months there have been tons of ideas for posts- but when I sit down to write, well, I don't really feel like it, y'know? But maybe I should write anyway. Otherwise, I'd be doing a disservice to you, and I'd be doing a disservice to my future self, who will look at this blog to see what kind of person I was. So I'll try, okay?



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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Order & Chaos

A few months ago, my family went to Jerusalem (I think) for Shabbat. Don't ask why- I don't remember. I stayed at Yosef's house. I hadn't seen him for a long time, but we were friends in 7th grade. At his house, Yosef's parents maintain constant order. The kids never even speak out of place, and constantly bow to their judgement. The meals were a solemn affair- everyone would sit quietly until Yosef's father decided to ask them a question. I like Yosef, but the experience was depressing.

Not that I didn't enjoy myself sometimes- Yosef introduced me to the strategy game "Twixt", an elegant logical competition in which the goal is to make a line from one side of the board to the other with "bridges". Generally, Yosef played systematically, while I played irrationally, looking for "out-of-the-box" solutions. It is worth noting that I lost almost every time; nevertheless, I liked my moves better, because they were more funny and imaginative. Yosef has two older sisters and two younger brothers. His brothers are very friendly and I had a good time playing Twixt with them while Yosef slept. (He was, unfortunately, sick that Shabbat.)
Last Friday, my family went to Gush Katif for Shabbat. It was my mother's idea, of course. I stayed at home, but ate at Eliav's house. I've been inviting him over almost every day recently. At his house, Eli's parents have no control over their children. Eli and his siblings do as they please, ignoring their parent's desparate pleas. The meals were a strange affair- at lunch, Eli suddenly became angry at the world and wouldn't speak, and blamed his father. I like Eli, but the experience was disturbing.

Not that I didn't enjoy myself sometimes- I introduced Eli to the intricacies of domino lines, a "sandbox" for creatively elaborate contrivances using lines of dominoes as well as blocks, cars, Lego, etc. Generally, I tried to play it safe, while Eli played recklessly, looking for "out-of-the-box" solutions. It is worth noting that my creations worked more often than his; nevertheless, I liked his better, because they were more funny and imaginative. Eli has two older sisters and three younger siblings, the youngest two brothers. His brothers drove my nuts with their constant noisemaking, pestering, whining and crying. I avoided them like the plague.

But why must order and chaos always come at the expense of the other? Why must life only thrive when it runs wild? Why must sanity be the trademark of the boring? Can there be no middle ground?



I'm not sure whether or not this is actually relevant, so I didn't want to clutter up the post proper with it, but it occurs to me that both Yosef and Eli were very repetitive in their statements as we played.

As I played Twixt with Yosef, he would keep saying "Do what you feel is right.", and that sounded silly because the move I was to make did not have some grand epic implications as the Obi-wan-esque statement seemed to imply. I asked him to stop because I was getting very tired of hearing that line every time he made a move, but he kept doing it anyway.

Similarly, Eli would preface everything he said with "Technically, ...", and that sounded silly because invariably what he was saying was not very technical and didn't for any reason demand or allow that the word "technically" be placed before it. I asked him to stop because I was getting very tired of hearing that word every time he suggested anything, but he kept doing it anyway.

I don't know what to make of this connection- maybe you do.

It's nice to hear that someone plays Twixt in Jerusalem. But I don't have a clue about the Force, technically.


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Friday, July 01, 2005

Good Riddance

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I am free. The graduation ceremony was last night. "Preparation for the Real World" is now officially over. The event was strangely depressing, though. I should have been overjoyed that I would never have to set foot in that building again, overjoyed that I would never see those kids again and have to worry about my lack of a relationship with them. But all I could feel was guilt. Guilt that I had not tried harder with my classmates. I kept thinking: "Go talk with them, you idiot. This is your last chance." But what did I have to talk about with them? Show them Wario Ware: Twisted? They certainly wouldn't have cared. Make smalltalk? Sure, I know how that goes:
"How are you?"
"I'm fine."



So I stayed away, and felt miserable for it. We were all handed yearbooks, with photos of each student and words written by a friend summing up his personality. I had brought no photo, and had no friend. I keep telling myself that it's for the best- were my name in the yearbook, it would indicate that I had been there, in the same world as the rest of the grade. That is clearly a lie. So it is appropriate, but still painful to be reminded so inescapably that in the eyes of my two-year colleagues, I do not exist.

What do I do now, with no school to bind me? As little as possible, I hope. I'm watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from start to finish and am finding to my surprise that it is exactly as bad as I remember. Better, I am filling in the blanks of our Star Trek: Voyager collection, and I had forgotten quite how good this show was. I'm starting to watch Quantum Leap, too, a cute and light show. I always look forward to Eli's visits (Eliav lives a few doors away), because I've been introducing him to so many great experiences: Zelda, Tallon IV, Fire Emblem, Battlestar Galactica, Beyond Good & Evil, Ball Revamped. I also just lent him the Flash Gordon tapes (the original), and I hope he finds it as amusing as I did. (As I told him, if he is capable of taking it seriously then there is something seriously wrong with him.) There's nothing so satisfying as giving someone else a fun experience, and it is helping me to appreciate my favorite games better by seeing them through a new perspective.

Anyway, that's my life. How are you guys doing?



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