Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mocking Jay Movie Review

Finally got around to see Mocking Jay.  My review is going to sound like a grumpy old man or MRA type, but whatever.

First, as an action movie, it's just mediocre.  At least in the Avengers movies, the ridiculous hero with a bow and arrow has a minimal role.  Reminds me of a great line from the spoof movie, The Starving Games (which I thought was pretty funny).  The "Avengers" make a cameo in the Starving Games, and Hawkeye is complaining about them taking on another archer, and Fury calls him "The avenger nobody gives a shit about".  It's pretty damn funny, you can watch the clip here.  If you can get over having soldier heroes fighting with medieval weapons when you have clearly advanced technology and modern weapons, there's plenty more to annoy you, especially if you are male.

This whole series seems to be a cliche against Patriarchy.  The only male in a leadership role is the scumbag president of the Capital.  Every other major character is female: Madam President of the Pan Am, Katniss, the leader of the resistance.  Even the producer of the resistance media team is a woman.  Every other guy is in some supporting role to a leading female.

OK, done ranting.  Onto the merits of it as an action movie.  It's just OK.  No ground breaking action in the movie.  It's just kind of the same old, which can be said of most movies these days, even without all the girl power stuff.

For me, the saving grace was that I waited to get it on Redbox, so it was cheap, and I got to watch it at home while I did other more important things, like cooking food, folding clothes and playing guitar.

It's worth it as a Redbox, so if you have not yet seen it, go ahead if you have some time to kill or just want to watch something.  Be interested to hear anyone else's opinion on the film.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Observations from Visiting Church Today

I went to a local church service today.  I would classify it as a small time mega church.  Multiple physical locations, very hip by church standards and very very focused on growth.  This was the first time I had been to church in many many months.

I was very active in church for many, many years.  I have not attended for quite a while because I came to see church as a large social organization devoid of very much spirituality or truth.

I have been pursuing minimalism lately in an attempt to simplify my life and find more meaning in it.  I have read several books by both The Minimalists and Leo Babauta.  These authors focus on paring the superfluous stuff from your life and only keeping the things that add value to it.  It is a very Eastern philosophical angle.  I highly recommend the books by both.  Maybe I will do a book review on the books I read for another post.

What struct me at the church service was the heavy focus on goals and growth for the church.  We want more members, more giving, new buildings, upgrades to existing buildings, and more participation from the members to grow the church.

This is completely different from the books I mentioned that focus on being satisfied with what you have in life.  It seemed like the service was an hour long commercial to get you to either give money or labor to grow the church.

The Bible talks about finding peace, but if you are always trying to grow, build, reach some new goal, how do you ever find a place where you have peace?

It was more like a corporate pitch to get the worker bees to keep slaving away in order to increase profit and market share.

I am sure that the majority of the members and the full time staff have good intentions.  It just seems the church has brought the rat race to the spiritual, and I do not think that is a good way to lead people to God.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do What You Want

The other night a friend texted me that he and some people were going out to X place then to Y place afterwards.

I debated going.  I was kind of tired and not really feeling like going out.  Then I really thought about it.  Why would I choose to go?  In hopes of meeting some new people.  Fear that I might miss out on something.  Not really good reasons.  I find the loud bar scene to be tiresome.

In the end I decided that what I really wanted was to do some reading and get a solid night's sleep.

I was glad I did.

The point of this is not to convince you to do or not to do anything.  The point is for any invitation or activity, ask yourself why you are doing it.  Become more mindful to the true motivations behind your actions and decisions.

Then do what YOU want.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

I read a lot of self help books.  I love the concepts of introspection and self improvement.  Classic introvert.

Corny as it sounds, I have really been trying to unconditional love and accept myself.  As I internalize this self love more and more, I am noticing a few benefits some of which seem counter intuitive.

I accept and get along much better with others.  I think this stems from not looking to others to validate me.  I can accept their faults and rejection because my self image is not tied to what others think of me.

I do better work.  My focus at work is less on pleasing people around and above me and more on doing my job.  As a result, my work product is better, and I am more self motivated.

I view others more realistically.  Others are much better at most things than I am.  Someone is in better shape, smarter than me, better socially.  I recognize it, and it does not bother me.  This is important, because if you have a low self image, you mentally degrade others' abilities so you feel better about yourself.  This has the very negative impact (on you) of not recognizing others' strengths.  This can get your ass kicked both literally and figuratively.

It comes down to dropping your ego.  You can really love yourself without having a big ego.  I think loving yourself REQUIRES you to kick the ego aside.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Milestone and Mindset Change

I've been reading manosphere / red pill material for several years now.  I understood it intellectually, but I think something clicked for me this weekend.  My mindset is changing.  I am starting to internalize some of this truth.

I met this girl recently while out hanging out with a friend.  She seemed very into me, showing all kinds of indicators of interest.  I am really not in a place I can pursue this or anything else right now.  I texted her this weekend anyway.  Not that I was looking to hook up, but I was chasing validation.  I just wanted her to text me back, and I was pretty sure she would.  So I text her and then put my phone away and crash.  I was tired and didn't want to go out anyway.

Next morning I wake up to voice mail and a string of texts from her.  Validation shot!  So we start texting back and forth.  The text conversation gets to a point where I know I have two options for responding.  Option 1 is the game response to keep her on the hook, Option 2 is the "beta" response that will almost certainly cool things down.  I took option 2, on purpose.

What?  Why?  How is this a good news story or some epiphany?

Here's where it gets interesting.  I knew I was not in a place where it would be good for me to pursue this.  I chose to chill things out when I had the option to escalate.  I have started to internalize that I have options.  I put the brakes on a path leading to external validation for my own personal reasons.  I put myself first.  If she never talks to me again, I will meet someone new down the road.

This was a very big break for me.  I have ALWAYS sweated over the reaction women have to me.  I have based so much of my self esteem or lack of it on how women responded to me.  Probably for the first time in my life, I walked away from a woman giving me validation.  I did it for own personal reasons.

I have started to love and value myself above what others think of me, and this is a very good thing.

Free Music

One of the things I like about Google Play is they offer free music frequently.  Sometimes its new artists trying to get their stuff out there, but sometimes it's bigger names as well.

Recently Motley Crew's greatest hits popped up on Google play as a new release.  I was interested, but just not willing to pay $10 for it.  Fast forward a couple of weeks, and that album shows up as free album of the week.  YES!  Quick click and it's mine for free!

It's also a great way to pad your music with the new artists that offer the free stuff.

Thanks Google!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

These Boots Were Made for Walking

Last year I started wearing western style boots.  Below are some thoughts on the experience.  NOTE: I look even better in boots than the babe in the picture above.  Humility is one of my greatest strengths.


Boots make you taller.  You will gain 1-2 inches in height by wearing boots.  This is cool.


Get a half size smaller than you normally buy.  All the boots I have tried required a break in period, and after the break in, a half size smaller is just right.  Normal size was too big after the break in period.

Break In

Depending on the stiffness of the boot, 2-4 weeks breakin period is required.  First couple of weeks can be very uncomfortable.  Give it a real go before jettison a pair of boots.


After the break in period, get a high end pair of insoles.  I like Superfeet.


I think the pointed toe boots look much more stylish than the square toe kind.  You can pull darker color, pointy toe boots with suits.  I prefer the darker browns.  Very versatile - can be worn with dress clothes or jeans.