Saturday, September 26, 2009

15 things I learned at Patrick Swayze movie night

1. Point Break and Roadhouse are basically the same movie. One just involves surfing bankrobbers while the other involves a tai-chi practicing, philosophy degree from NYU holding bouncer.

2. Keanu Reeves is terrible. Also, he apparently hates dogs.  Conversely, Patrick Swayze is pretty cool and inexplicably polite.

3. Surfing is so expensive it forces a bunch of pacifist hippies to rob banks dressed as ex-presidents.

4. The Narrator from The Big Lebowski was once the most feared bouncer in Jasper Missouri.

5.  Only together can Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves defeat the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

6.  "Pain don't hurt."  Unless said pain comes from someone ripping your throat out and throwing you into a river.

7.  The FBI employs not only Neo from the Matrix but also that one guy from Predator 2 and Dr. Cox.

8.  Falling polar bears will knock you out for a few minutes but you'll be perfectly fine afterwards.

9.  While undercover with a group of bank robbers, it is best to use your real name.  Especially when you are a famous college football player from Ohio State.  Additionally, surfers in California will immediately recognize you as a college football player from Ohio State and invite you to join them in a friendly football game/gang initiation.

10. Telling someone you are going to kill them the old fashioned way means you are going to shoot them.  It makes sense to say this after trying to kill that same person with a knife and your bear hands. 

11.  Meatball sandwiches are delicious.  So much so that eating them prevents you from noticing a bank robbery.

12.  Jasper Missouri has a single musician who just so happens to play at every bar in town.  That musician is Jeff Healey.

13.  It is a very good idea to jump out of an airplane with a bunch of bank robbers who know you are an undercover FBI agent.  It will not end badly.  Not at all.

14.  Mess with the one rich guy in town and he'll firebomb your house, blow up your hardware store, kill your best friend, run over your cars with a monster truck, sic an evil version of Patrick Swayze on you, and cause some trouble at your bar.

15.  It is possible to identify bank robbers as surfers because they have tan lines.  In California.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ridiculous Things (Mostly Relating to Academia)

1. Apparently I've been overpaying my rent. For the next three months I will be underpaying my rent to compensate.

2. Because Monday is a holiday and we've already had a large number of Monday holidays this semester, Stony Brook has now decided that Tuesday is Monday. Monday is now Sunday II, Wednesday is still Wednesday, and I am confused.

3. Regardless of Tuesday being Monday, my TA assignment for that day has been canceled. This effectively gives me more nights to work on a grant proposal a four day weekend.

4. My adviser is worried that people are spending too much time on their homework for her class. This is exacerbated by her grading system which makes it possible to get a 1.889 on a 2 point assignment. Her solution is to stop telling us our grades so we won't worry so much about them.

5. Progress meetings are really boring. Though being one of the few omnivores in a department of vegetarians (no Veagens... this isn't Clark) has it's advantages when pizza is served.

6. I've been printing off E-Books and instruction manuals for SPM and other software using my 40 page per day printing quota. This is going to take awhile.

7. Two weeks ago I brought my car to a garage because I had a check engine light on. Yesterday I brought it back to be inspected after said light had come back on. Miraculously it passed inspection and everything seems to be working fine. I am however down a quarter tank of gas between when I dropped it off and when I picked it up.

8. A 24 hour deli opened up down the street from me. It closes at midnight and serves breakfast.

9. Stony Brook is very worried about Swine Flu. Undergraduate students have been told not to come to class if they think they are infected. Undergraduate students need more excuses not to come to class.

10. I cleaned out my office over the summer with the hopes of keeping it better organized this year. Currently I have about 6 square inches of free space on my desk.

11. Undergrads really like it when classes get out earlier. Their TAs probably like it a lot more. Also, knocking on every door in the psych department is not the best way to find said TAs.

12. Almost every social psychology paper we've read in class so far has used fMRI. This makes my brain hurt.

13. Last year I would occassionally find my labmates sleeping in the lab. I thought this would end when most of them graduated. Apparently not. I thought I'd be the one to sleep on the lab couch first, I thought wrong.

This is why I haven't been blogging

I've been watching tv...



... ok, so thats not entirely true. I've just been really busy. Apparently grad school is a lot of work. I'll try to update a bit more often but posting will probably be a bit more sporadic than over the summer.

In the meantime, enjoy some more from The Office.

District 9

After being really excited for this during the summer, I finally saw this at the end of September...



More than any other movie I've seen this year, this was the victim of some serious over-hype. At it's core, District 9 is a decent little sci-fi action movie with some not-at-all subtle political allegory thrown in. The action scenes are nice, the aliens look pretty creepy, and the pseudo-documentary style cinematography keeps the story moving forward. However, despite the fact that there are extended sequences featuring mercenaries fighting alien mecha, I found myself getting bored. Despite the documentary feel, nothing is really explained adequately and the characters just aren't very interesting.

I think the weird mix of political allegory and sci-fi action adventure ultimately hurts the film. Pursuing either direction would have probably resulted in a better (or at least more coherent) film. As it stands now, District 9 feels a bit like someone wanted to write a movie about apartheid and then decided to play Halo instead. It's not bad, but I don't think it's as good as everyone's been saying.