Deconstructing self

I have a pretty good job. I’m around people at work that I get along well with. I have a schedule in which I can keep my own hours, and I can even work remotely from home which is quite a blessing with my brood of offspring and my wife’s hectic schedule. So, I should be happy with it all, right.

As with all implied assumptions in blogs such as this, no, I’m not.

I’m not sure what it is, but I don’t feel like I’m really good at what I do. Now, my wife, friends, even clients have told me they like what I do, and I appreciate that, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m scraping by. I hate that feeling.

What’s worse is that there are several other things that I’d like to try to do, but all of which lead me to the same feeling that I’m just not good enough to do them. Is this just having no confidence in myself? Is it a complete lack of self-esteem? Is it simply seeing reality?

This is a strange feeling, and a strange time. I don’t know that there’s an answer at the moment, and I’m certainly not looking for reassurances. Honestly not sure what I’m looking for, but whatever the answer and whatever the reason, I’ll see it eventually. I don’t know where I’ll be then, but I won’t smell too good, that’s for sure.

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My Burrito Made Me Sad

I just got a burrito from a popular fastfood restaurant that specializes in things taco.  The burrito was advertised as being both cheesy and filled with a double portion of beef. I was intrigued, and I was lured in. The first bite wasn’t bad; in fact, it was pretty good. The second bite, however, presented the endless bounty of sadness that the burrito had to offer: a cascading flow of rice. Rice in a burrito says one thing to me, “We filled the majority of your burrito was tasteless, carbfodder. Enjoy.”

I’m sad now. I’m very sad, and that burrito and it’s rice innards are to blame. I may not recover from this.

I was present for a chick flick last night…

I have a noted hesitancy towards “chick flicks” or “date movies”. I don’t know why. That’s a lie, I really do. In general, they are mind-numbingly formulaic and, as a result, spine-grindingly predictable. The humor usually attempts to be cute and clever, but comes across cheesy and decidedly un-clever. Additionally, there is all too often little depth to any of the characters. Also, there are rarely robots, space ships, or giant monsters.

Now, I completely understand that there are exceptions to my reservations, and I completely understand that even though some movies adhere to the above criticisms they can turn out to be entertaining. I get those things. Suffice it to say, I simply have a noted hesitancy towards films of this ilk.

In any case, with relatives from distant lands staying with my wife and family over the weekend, the opportunity arose to watch a film, and as I was the only adult male in the house, I had absolutely nothing to do with the choice. And that was fine, I truly didn’t mind. So it was that we embarked upon the journey which was The Holiday.

I won’t go into any kind of summary at this point; in fact, I have provided a handy link to IMDB for those of you with no clue what movie I’m talking about. The movie is, afterall, already more than 18 months old. Instead, I will merely detail my observations and thoughts of the film. There may be some spoiler action here, so be warned.

These items will be in order of things I think of first to things I think of afterwards. Absent from this list will be things I failed to think of or forgot to mention.

  1. I’m not a fan of Cameron Diaz. I haven’t seen her in a ton of films; however, the times I’ve seen her and thought, “Hrmm…,” greatly outnumber the times I’ve said, “she didn’t look malnourished in The Mask.” Having said that, I have not been wronged by Diaz, so this is nothing personal. I have simply yet to be impressed with her in a role that I’ve seen.
  2. Jack Black‘s character in this movie should have been split in half, and one half should have been thrown away. Simply put, Black should never be the love interest in a movie. It’s just not the correct decision. Remove that part and leave the rest of his character, and you have a well-played, funny strength to the film.
  3. Eli Wallach was the best thing about this movie.
  4. Kate Winslet is a fine actress, and when she was given material to truly act out in this film, she was quite good. However, the horrible comic relief she was forced to portray in the guise of a never-ending scene of surprise and joy made me want to inhabit a tauntaun.
  5. Winslet and Black demonstrated chemistry reminiscent of the chemistry between fire and hamsters. See point #2 for solution.
  6. Jude Law did a fine job of acting in this film, and there were things about his character that were genuinely unpredictable and refreshing.
  7. The tent scene was the best scene in this movie.
  8. The whole crying thing with the character of Amanda was painfully see-through. I found myself thinking, “Is there any possible way they can stop themselves from ending with that?”
  9. Rufus Sewell played the part of insanely-obvious, spontaneously-generating chick flick bad guy. Poorly.
  10. This is a bit of a side note, but I just read on IMDB trivia that “This film was written specifically with actors Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black in mind.” If this is true, then I am even more infuriated with some of the scenes written for these actors/actresses.
  11. The final dancing scene simply must be removed and injested by those responsible.

Having said all that, I was marginally entertained by parts of this film, particularly those that truly surprised me. Much, however, was as expected.

I remain hesitant towards “chick flicks” or “date movies”.

Movie realizations over the past week…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire isn’t as bad as I thought it was during my initial experience with it. True, it is riddled with things I wished they’d done differently, but I tend to enjoy it more each time I see it. On a related note, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is my favorite movie of the series. Evanna Lynch‘s as Luna Lovegood is perfectly cast.

Stranger Than Fiction is quite good. I particularly enjoy that the majority of humor isn’t so in-your-face as one might expect from the protagonist, Will Ferrell.

When I first saw The Fifth Element in the movie theater, I hated it. I don’t know why, I suspect it was the same reason I hated Eddie Vedder‘s voice the first time I heard it: too good to hear for the first time. In any case, the movie is outstanding.

As much as I was interested in seeing the Silver Surfer in 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I must say that the 20 or 30 minutes or so of the movie I was able to endure was a waste of life.

300 isn’t for the family, but despite the blood, gore, nudity, funky looking dudes, and bucket-loads of testosterone-induced screaming, it is certainly a beautifully entertaining film. It was a movie that, although I enjoyed it in the theater, I didn’t think I’d want to see many more times. I was wrong.

It’s a guilty pleasure, but Galaxy Quest is fun. I watch it. I like it.

For whatever reason, it took me a very long time to get around to watching The Green Mile, but I accept all that time as worth the price of admission. A truly great movie.

The view from Mars…

Check out The Boston Globe blog entitled Martian Skies, and pay close attention to the 7th and 8th pictures down on the page, both of which are animated and hard to miss. If these pictures are to be believed then, put quite simply, Mars is inhabitated by giant Air Elementals clearly hell-bent on ridding the universe of humans. Just LOOK.

Creativity Boosting

How to Unleash Your Creativity is a rather dull and creativity-draining article that offers insightful tools and methods on boosting your creativity. In a nutshell, the tools include capturing ideas as they occur to you without judging them, challenging yourself with tough problems, broadening your knowledge, and surrounding yourself with interesting and diverse things and people. Enjoy and I hope you get boosted with great boost.