Saturday, January 30, 2010

Brain Fell in Love Today

 Today Brain has gone head over heals in love with Google Sketchup. We've been using sketchup for a bit over a year now, but today I got Pro and I have been for the past 2 months working on Sketchup daily for at least 8 hours. I also skimmed through Google Sketchup for Dummies, and again, so much love for Sketchup!
I'm no pro, yet, but I would not mind spending the rest of my career on Sketchup. However, not modeling someone else's projects, mind you.

The more I thought about the more I realized how much my love for all things Google is unparalleled. I mean, I love my iPod, I love my Firefox, I love my Photoshop, but Googleverse PWNS all else.

Sketchup, obviously, allows me to make awesome things and make normal things look awesome.

Google Chrome is clean and has the incognito option, and chrome experiments are the best way to pass the time when one gets bored with Peggle and Chuzzle and Tumblebugs, in the rare occasion that this might happen.

Google Earth lets me stalk people travel all around the world without the degrading process of getting a visa. Also, they finally updated the maps of Lebanon and my new car is there. Seriously, though, I figured out how to get to our hotel in Paris last year on Google Earth/Maps in 2 minutes while I spent half an hour on the hotel's website and nothing made sense (and not because it was in French).

Google translate helps me write my Spanish homework and helps me sound like I am better at it that I really am. It also helped me today decode the Russian "Read Me" file that I got with my installation package.

Google Search is the easiest way to find po... anything I want, anywhere I want in the whole cyber world, everything about absolutely anything, and anything about everything. I actually found a recipe for Horra' Osba'o. Haven't heard of it? Of course you have not, it is one of the most obscure foods you can imagine.

And ofcourse there's gmail, blogger, google docs, google calendar, google wave, etc... etc...

So I hereby declare that if ever Google decided to become it's own political entity I will back it up 100%. I will vote for Google, and will protest for Google, I will attend Google rallies, I will proudly hold a Google citizenship and wave a Google. I'll even root for Google in the World Cup.

A little overboard? Maybe... but people have done much stupider things in the name of love (for example, see Lost s5 finale. Nuclear bomb. Mass murder. Saying "no" to tea with Rose and Bernard. *gasp*)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

iBrain misery

The only thing that keeps Brain from going insane at "work" is my trusty iPod Touch. You see, Brain and I do not do well in a cubicle environment.Working in a cubicle goes against everything Brain and I believe in. It hurts us to be working in a cubicle. We feel horrible that we are going against our most basic fundamental beliefs. Our current situation is slowly killing us. We are very close to pinning up "How can I think outside the box if I work in a cube" on the pin board next to us.

Anyway, given the current situation, Brain and I are depending on iSas to keep us from going all James McAvoy in "Wanted" on the situation. Statistics so far prove that iSas can last from 9am to 5pm on a continuous "Play" status without the battery dying. Yesterday, we decided to upgrade iSas. Now iSas is civilized enough to contain a number of applications. Last night was spent on an apps frenzy, downloading as many free apps as possible before collapsing on the keyboard at 3am.

Excited that there are new frontiers to cross in the "maintaining sanity" struggle, Brain made sure to check out every application. Yes, we now have the exciting toilet paper game that is a race against time trying to unroll the toilet paper roll as fast as possible. WIN.

Where's the problem, you say?

Battery died at 3pm.

Look out for me on the news tomorrow night. I'll be the "employee goes on rampage at 3.10pm this afternoon" story.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brain Wanders Off To Pandora While I Am Stuck At Work

Brain does that often, when I am stuck doing something that does not require a lot from Brain. It is not rare that I realize I am stuck doing some boring task while Brain has gone off somewhere far more exciting. Brain peaks back occasionally to check the time on the computer screen but is back out almost immediately. In all honesty, I do not blame Brain.

This time, Brain pondered about Avatar for a while. Naturally, Brain was blown away with the effects and the visuals and the techniques and the colors and the captivating creations from the film's design department. However, Brain's focus today was the obvious; the not so hidden messages in the storyline and why, while it is unabashed in its criticism of the politics of power, there seems to be one missing link in the whole.

Like Brain pointed out, the political message was obvious, but we'll state it anyway.

Let us look at our parameters, shall we?

A piece of land? Check.

That has a seductive supply of a rich resource? Check.

An indigenous people living on said piece of land? Check.

The people are not white? Check.

A powerful outsider? Check.

This outsider wants the resource badly? Check.

The outsider sees the indigenous people as an obstacle to get to the resource? Check.

The outsider sees the indigenous people as a less civilized, savage, uncultured society? Check.

The outsider feels it needs to "educate" the indigenous people? Check.

When the outside fails to "educate" the indigenous people, he labels them as violent and non responsive to dialogue? Check.

the outsider resorts to violence in their relation with the indigenous people? Check.

the outsider supports his claim of the natives' violence when the natives try to defend themselves against his aggressions? Check.

the outsider attacks with weapons and technologies far more advanced then the natives? Check.

the situation reaches a stage where the natives are in danger of extinction? Check.

the outsider justifies the need to demolish the homes of the natives? Check.

the natives need to ask the help of the other clans? Check.

the natives eventually reach desperate measures and use "horrifying" means to be able to stand in the face of the outsider in order to survive? Check.

Within the scenario he has set up, Cameron wants the viewer to sympathize with the outsider and be appalled by the actions of the natives? Ch... erm... No actually, it is the exact opposite.

Wait! WHAT? But, the last 17 points can be describing word for word tens of cases in the world today, and thousands throughout history. But in the world we live in today, point 18 is also part of the situation.

SO I wonder who has it wrong. Is Cameron mistaken that we should sympathize and root for the oppressed? Or is our modern world blinded with its support of the oppressor?

Brain and I are glad to see that we have our "Avatar" glasses at all times.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brain has been kept silent too long!

Brain was going insane for a week. We were getting our laptop upgraded from HELL (re. Vista) to Windows 7, and in the mean time, Brain felt like like a gagged prisoner. Brain did manage to get some thoughts on paper. We wrote an 8 page analysis on Lost and Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" but we still need to type it up, so that's not what Brain has to say today. That will be sometime this weekend, methinks.

Brain wants to rant today. Brain and I agree that there is this one thing that is unbelievably irritating which might send us over edge if it happens again this week. We despise, loathe, detest when you're standing waiting for the elevator in the lobby of a building, having pressed the "up" button already, because well, we were born after 1850 and know how things work, and then someone comes over, you give them the polite nod and take a slight step to the side. The elevator is taking some time, because it was already on its way up when you arrived, and both cars are now between floors 9 and 11, and in all honesty, you are not that eager to start the workday.

But then genius who just arrived, thinks they know how to make the wait shorter, and presses the down button, HA! that'll show the elevator ev0l powers that be. And then instead of just waiting for the elevator to come down 11 floors, we have to wait for it to go down 4 floors into the basement, or as genius would do, get in on the "down" trip and then go on a rampage when the elevator takes him to B4. "WTF is wrong with this effed up machine?!!?!?!?!"

And if you try to point it out, genius would give you that condescending head-cock and disapproving "hrmmph" and look down at you like you just crawled from under a rock and mumble under his breath "that's not how it works."

Next time, Brain and I have decided that we will stand real close to the button and slap the hand that will try to press the "down" button with a ruler's edge. ugh!

That is all.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Brain did not wake up today

I really think it is unfair that Brain did not wake up today, while I had to be awake all day and go to work. The pain of keeping my eyes open at all times reached an excruciating level around 11.30 and by 1.15 I was almost in tears. I tried to watch videos on my iTouch and even tried listening to upbeat music but nothing seemed to work.

Of course, the moment I decided to open the notepad file to type this entry, mister the boss walks up from behind, looks at my sketchpad and tries to read something I had scribbled which said "the need to sleep has come and is not leaving". Fortunately, he read it as "the submarine has come and is not leaving".

Anyway, Brain's inability to join the rest of living world this day reminded me of vampires, naturally. It would seem that the last few years of the 2k's first decade could not have enough of vampires. Everywhere. Books, movies, tv shows. Southern and gentlemanly, teenage and hormonal, Italian and mafia-esque and apparently, sparkly.

I'm old enough to remember Buffy, the movie and then the tv show, and An Interview with a Vampire. But those were 90's vampires, somehow, something happened happend with the turn of the century that genetically altered these centuries old creatures, and with it they became uncontrollably addictive to humans. Vampires probably hired the world's greatest agents and PR reps or something like that.

Technically, I do not have a problem with all the vampiricism in media and pop culture. I do admit that I have read the Twilight nightmare of a series, and have seen the brain numbing movies. I admit that the quality of writing is horrid, and the movies are at best physically painful. I think Hitler said it best when he said "Kristen Stewart can lick a Walrus" and "Stephanie Meyers can write monkey butt". But Edward is hot. And that is enough for a shameless fangirl to enjoy the books/movies. Jacob is under age and hence, still not hot till he turns 18.

To give her credit, though, SM managed to do what many other fangirls had dreamed of for years. She wrote the most shameless, most successful and most lucrative Mary Sue ever.

I am also watching Vampire Diaries which is currently on hiatus. In a way, ok more than one way, Vampire Diaries is better written than Twilight, and the lead female character is just one notch less annoying than Bella and, unlike Bella, has more than one dimension. And to top it off, Ian Sommerhalder plays a sinfully delicious and menacing Damon.

Then there's True Blood which I don't watch but from what I hear it has the same ingredients, the dumbass damsel who does not realize that vampires equal dangerous, the self deprecating, brooding, conscientious hot by default good guy vampire and the evil, dark, also hot other vampire who does not have a problem with who/what he is.

Now, I am not saying I am some sort of media critic genius, but from what I see/hear the general givens are:
1. the girl who falls for the vampire and gets sucked into this world. Preferably she is not all that smart and struggles with rational thinking. she initially falls for the "good" vampire but soon starts to realize the seductiveness of the "evil" one as well.
2. the vampire who suffers from an existential crisis and trouble accepting his soulless, damned self. He is self deprecating, moody, emo. Of course he has to be dazzlingly gorgeous. He falls for the human mortal girl despite himself and this adds another element to help with his emoness.
3. the other vampire who is proud of who/what he is and enjoys the perks of being being a soulless bloodsucker. He is equally if not hotter than the good guy and knows it.
4. the girl's best friend who turns out to be another mystical being (witch, werewolf etc...) who is genetically programmed to be the vampire's sworn enemy. Oh, and he/she just happens to be of an ethnic minority.
5. the clueless dumbass parent/authority figure.
6. the town/city/area which has a history of being the setting of some weird, spooky event.

My questions/observations are

1. Is the "good" vampire considered "good" because he does not feed on people? In a time and age when each and everyone one of us is encouraged to be themselves, and not deny their true identity, shouldn't a non human blood sucking vampire be seen as someone who is rejecting his true identity and trying to be something he is not, and thus going against what modern society advocates and propagates? He is someone who is denying his true identity, trying to be something he is not and not giving his full potential or making use of his talents. Doesn't that make him a "bad" influence on a youth on the first steps of discovering who they are and establishing themselves?

2. WTF is with all the sparkling?

3. Why is there is a sudden booming interest and fascination with the undead? I know it is not something that has suddenly popped out of nowhere, but the quantity of media coming out at the same time does make me raise an eyebrow (ok, two, because I can't raise one on its own). It must be a reflection on our current socioeconomic situation as an international community, as well as some sort of manifestation of political issues. I think.

Do we want to be immortal?

Do the vampires represent us or what we want to be or what we are afraid of becoming?

DO we already see ourselves as monsters? Is the "good" vampire a manifestation of the remaining hope that there is redemption for us even though we've become monsters?

Vampires feed on humans, does this portray how humans have reached the point of no return in their obsession with consumerism? Have we gone so far that the only thing left for us to consume is ourselves? And in a way, aren't we?

Do we see ourselves as the human in the story? or the "bad" vampire?

Who is this sworn enemy? Why is it always of a specific ethnicity?

Is the "good" vampire the redemption or is he the ultimate being? A creature immortal and powerful yet pure and good? Is the bad vampire the creature we want to be? A being powerful and immortal and living his full potential, not ashamed of who he is?

4. The obsession with vampires can represent society/people not happy with who they are and looking to the mythical world for aspirations, or a reflection of the monstrosity of modern society and where we have reached in our struggle with good and evil. Our insecurities translated into blood suckers, witches and mutts.

It can also be seen as a reflection of the political status in the world. The good, the bad and the innocent... and the third party coming in to help the innocent while the good and bad fight. But again, who is good and why? who is bad, and why? And does the innocent have a choice as to who defends him? Who do the writers want us to sympathize with? Or are we meant to sympathize with all? Is the decision regarding who to side with left to us or is it imposed on us? Do we have a choice as to what political regime to hold onto? to side with? Is it at the end of the day, a struggle between two creatures that are immensely more powerful than us, over something bigger, and we are just caught in the middle? How effective is that creature that is meant to defend us going to be anyway? What will happen to us in the process? Will we be consumed by one or the other? Will be neglected? Will we be forced to join one side or the other? Will we be divided? Will it make us even weaker? Does either of the parties care about us anyway?

Will we ever be able to fight for ourselves?

5. Seriously, though, what's with the sparklingness?

6. Is it just simply, an escape from reality?

7. but I still don't get the sparklingness!

Alright, so these are my "all over the place" thoughts on vampires taking over our libraries, tv's and cinemas. Naturally nonsensical and most probably reaches no where, but that's what Brain sounds like all the time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brain loves the binary date

For the first time since Wednesday afternoon I don't have anything to do and am suddenly panicking.

Brain: How about you sleep, silly. You haven't done that since Wednesday, you must miss it.