September 28, 2003


Tetris, in my view, can be looked at as a metaphor for life.

I'm not joking; I mean this seriously, to semi-seriously. I don't mean for it to be taken as a new-wave religion or a cult or anything, but hear me out.

You can tell a lot about a person by the way that they play Tetris. The best way to observe them is by hooking them up to an old-school, 8-bit Nintendo and watching them. Tetris creates a lot of stress - the constant barrage of new bricks, the speed increasing every ten lines...its a lot like life.

Think about it - life hands you bricks all the time, all differently shaped and all fit differently into your "game board," but, you have to make them fit anyhow. There's no way to reject a certain block at a certain time, or hold it off until later. You can try and set up a system, waiting for the long straight pieces to get the big bonuses, but there's no guarentee that the system will work out over time. You just keep having to take it and take it and take it, and make the best of it.

So many times people give up in the end of Tetris, when their stack reaches the top of the screen, and the music goes on hyperdrive. That's not the time to panic; thats the time to tune out the music and just sort faster. You have fewer places to go with blocks, but ingenuity really shines here and people try new and different things.

I mean thats the way I've always looked at it. Completely non-seriously of course, but realize that the blocks one hits in life can be made to fit in even though it seems impossible at first.

So thats what I mean when I say that Tetris stands as a metaphor for life.

I've been playing a lot of Tetris lately, since Scott bought Graham and old-school Nintendo for his birthday a week ago. Went to see "Lost in Translation on Friday night. Fantastic movie; I'm still pretty much in awe of a lot of the cinematography. It was a really, really interesting picture of a random friendship, and possibly one of the truest pictures of a friendship between a man and a woman that I've seen on film. Bill Murray is understated, and the humor of theof the situations he's in finds him more than anything else.

So yeah, this all feels vaguely unfinished, but there's a lot of other, better stuff to be done.

[Listening to: Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy (03:01)]
Posted by Matthew at 11:48 PM | Comments (3)

September 18, 2003

Life in general & Two Quick Movie Reviews

I blew off night class the past two nights in a row.

I had my reasons, of course. Last night was to reclaim the time I spent working for Community Development the night before, unpaid, collecting IP addresses for 2 and a half hours...I had a paper to write that was due on Wednesday morning, of course. I took the time I would have spent in night class and spent it doing the paper. And got it done at around 11PM, which for me is fantastic. Its a great paper, all about social utility theory applied to teacher-rating sites online.

Tonight, I skipped playwriting (which to me isn't really a full class - its a pure elective on my part, doing absolutely nothing for my studies, not even counting for so much as a free elective on my tally) to go downtown to see "Anything Else", the new Woody Allen/Jason Biggs/Christina Ricci film.

The movie is fantastic. I haven't seen much of Allen's work (although I'm learning more and more about him in Film Seminar) but to me, this seems to be one of the most farcical of his works - the exaggeration employed for humorous effect is fantastic. Biggs assumes the role of the new neurotic, pseudo-Allen, stuck in relationships that he fears breaking apart from. Ricci plays Biggs' current girlfriend, and portrays the character beautifully. Allen chooses to stay off to the side and become Biggs' guide, projecting his own neuroses and foibles as Biggs stumbles along the road to what he truly wants. It's a fantastic plot, with some decent scenes. It feels like another "Annie Hall" - but in this version Allen plays the outer friend Rob, Biggs plays Allen, and Ricci becomes Diane Keaton. I feel that its marketed completely wrong though - being made up as a teen comedy (down to the multicolored movie poster) however, it is truly a Woody Allen film, and teen audiences may not get the subtlety of some of the humor.

The other film was from seminar today, "Taxi Driver". It's disturbing, and I don't have much more than that. It's an incredibly rich film, and there are connections to so much within it. DeNiro is so young, yet so incredibly intense...the famous "You talkin' to me?" scenes being the pinnacle of that intensity. The film really bothered me, and still has to a degree. I need class tomorrow to figure out exactly whats going on.

So yeah, go see "Anything Else." Fantastic.

Posted by Matthew at 01:45 AM | Comments (5)

September 14, 2003

If I say "Quiet hours guys, keep it down" one more time...

...I'm going to scream. smile!

Actually, tonight hasn't been that bad. The entire year hasn't been as bad as I had originally thought it would be. Chalk another one up to the "things that seemed worse than they actually turned out" file.

Today's highlight was going to Best Buy and actually spending money. I wound up getting (begin nerdy drumroll...) a Samsung 52x CD-Recorder and a Belkin Firewire card. The CDRW decided to screw with some software I had installed, and is actually burning at less than it should be now...but it should be fixed soon. Also picked up a copy of the South Park movie that was on sale...such a funny movie.

On Friday, I went with a couple friends to see "Once Upon a Time In Mexico." Its a fun movie; kinda threw me at first, but it got better as it went along. Its a B-movie that knows that its a B-movie and loves it: lots of cheesy dialogue, cheesy plot points coupled with lots of interesting visual effects - including some revolving around knees and eyes that I won't spoil here. Johnny Depp steals the movie with his CIA-agent persona, but there isn't a bad performance in the entire cast - Willem Dafoe, Selma Hayek, Antonio Banderas. The plot escaped me at first, however it quickly sorted itself out as the film unspooled. Its worth a viewing, at least a rental if not a full price ticket now. It all seemed eerily paralell to the Sergio Leone "Man with No Name Trilogy" - same washed out feel to the shot composition, same seemingly inane dialogue in places ("Are you a Mexi-can? Or a Mexi-can't?") and the same spaghetti western feel except it might be a "tortilla western" for Mexico...I'm not sure.

Other than that things are quiet. Its off to the Philadelphia Museum of Art tomorrow morning, and then duty and paper writing into the night.

[Listening to: Amsterdam - by Guster (03:37)]
Posted by Matthew at 02:29 AM | Comments (3)

September 08, 2003

Life, the universe and everything

Its been a crazy couple of weeks, what can I say...

In short, the house rocks. Scott, Matt, Graham, and Joe make pretty decent housemates, and even better Halo opponents. No major problems besides me doing a hell of a lot of dishes last week. Eh, what can I say - its relaxing, and isn't too bad. The house is great...I finally have what I missed during sophomore and junior years - that feeling of being in the place where people like to congregate. I'm no longer living anywhere thats out of the way or difficult to find or where no one else is, like dorms when everyone is in the apartments.

The Masque is auditioning people for the one acts tomorrow - "All in the Timing" by David Ives. I'm directing "Sure Thing" which is purely comedic in the timing of the show. I'm nervous; I've never really audtioned people before, and I've surely never really directed anything beyond a 15 minute television show before...oh well, first time for everything, I guess.

Classes are, for the most part, fantastic. 18 credits is cake...yeah right. Playwriting is fantastic...the prof isn't completely sure how to teach us, but even in what we've done so far has been entertaining. He's at least boiling playwriting down to formulae that are pretty decent to start from - plug x into y, add characters and you have a scene. The 60's is interesting, the prof definitely has an incredibly evil laugh through. But he was there, he experienced the 60's firsthand, and he's relating the experiences to us in a way I can understand. We're plunging right into drawing tomorrow, and going head over heels into the human form with a model. I'm currently freaking out, as I've never successfully executed a picture of a house in my life... Com Ethics is actually really fun - I'm understanding the material, am currently ahead in the work aspects, and enjoy discussing these theoretical situations. Film Seminar is incredible...I've never had an opportunity to really enjoy Scorcese and Woody Allen films, and now we're forced into it. Bro. Gerry is proving to be a damn good teacher who understands whats going on. And finally...Contemporary Drama is Harty, and Harty is the same as always, dry and hilarious. I'm constantly losing it in class when he compares everything to Cats, or whenever we get the "Youth is wasted on the really is" lines. He's a really decent guy, and I'm learning quite a bit.

Other than is pretty happy. I'm employed again in the Division of Student Affairs, working on web sites for student organizatons, a job that I know I'll like. I've always been an advocate for putting information like that online - other universities right now are a lot better than us right now, having info on lots of organizations, but we'll catch up. The Masque (besides the One Acts) hasn't really started up yet (besides Meet the Masque, which was a night I may never forget...) so theres no stress. Community Development is Community Development, as always.

I have my Senior Portriat taking tomorrow... I'm nervous, not because of the act of getting photographed, but in the whole symbolic action deal - this is how I'll be remembered in the yearbook, "immortalized" for all eternity. After tomorrow, the idea that I'm a senior may sink in, and I may realize that theres less than a year left.

I'm comforted by the fact that the year has barely started yet, and theres a heck of a lot of time left.

So... in the hopes of making this less about me, and more about general stuff, here's a quick top 5 list - top 5 anagrams for mylasalle web portal






And finally, my favorite for "mylasalle": A SMALL LYE.

(courtesy of: the Internet Anagram Server)

Have a wonderful day, and week all!

[Listening to: Me, Myself, and Irene Soundtrack - The World Ain't Slowin' Down (Ellis Paul).mp3 - by - (00:00)]
Posted by Matthew at 02:12 AM | Comments (4)