Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Season on the Brink by John Feinstein

I was given this book as a Christmas present from my next door neighbors the Stouts, and I just finished reading it. A fun book in its own right, reading it while playing out my basketball season has been a blast. From October 15 on I was reminded of the things that happened in our season, like the scrimmages against random teams and the quest for a post-season berth. Obviously playing division III is much less time consuming than division I ball (for example, I was able to be at home for 10 days over winter break, whearas the players in the book only had a on or two day break), but the similarities were there nonetheless. As the self-proclaimed "best-selling sports book of all time," I'd recommend this book to any sports fan, but especially to someone that has closely followed college basketball at some point in their life.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I rock my iPod everywhere around campus these days

As some of you have heard, I finally joined the group of people in this world that own iPods this Christmas (immediately taking me out of the other group of people, who don't own iPods), thanks entirely to Santa. I owe you one, big guy.

Anyway, it basically can turn any situation into a party. Boring dinner conversation? At least you're listening to your iPod. Long walk to the library? Ten times better with music. Stupid lecture? They'll never see your iPod under your hoodie if you pull it off right. I thought that getting an iPod would make my life much better, and I was right, it has. But if you really want to enjoy your device, you have to be willing to jam it unabashedly. Some people think that wearing your iPod everywhere is annoying. But those people are wrong, it's actually a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

People who have enemies are tight

My dad just told me that his favorite philosopher is Schopenhauer, so, like any rational member of my generation, I wikipediaed him. He seems like he was pretty cool, and pretty funny ("If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.") But by far the coolest part about him is that he had a "nemesis," fellow German philosopher Hegel. He even went so far as to schedule his lectures at the same time as Hegel so that he could steal his students, and when he failed, he stopped teaching and was generally angry with the world. Awesome.

Let's face it, having enemies is really sweet. Larry David built a television show around essentially that one point (Curb Your Enthusiasm). Who wants to go through life without any enemies?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is a pretty famous book, and had been recommended to me by quite a few different people before I read it. On the cover it is deemed an "International Bestselling Phenomenon." I can certainly see why: the language is colorful, and it's a quick fun read.

That said, I have to disagree with one of the main ideas presented in the book. It calls on people to follow their "personal legend" in their life, the one specific thing that they are destined to accomplish. I think that such is a constricting way to live life. In a broad sense, focusing on accomplishing just one thing takes your mind off of what might happen to you in between, denying you of interesting opportunities that may arise in your wake that you want to pursue. But even worse is the idea that if you focus too much on accomplishing that one thing, whatever it is, you will be less likely to enjoy your journey there.

Think about it. Even a mundane thing like driving to the gym has tons of little things in it that make less more fun. You might run a yellow light and see a cop on the other side of the street, and worry that you will be caught for a couple of minutes. Maybe it will be raining outside and you won't be able to decide which setting to put your windshield wipers on. Maybe you will be about to cross the bridge and won't be able to find your Fastrack until the last second. But once we get to the gym, we tend to forget all of this juicy stuff almost immediately, because all we are focused on is getting to the gym.

So just imagine if one were to go through life like that, just focused on your "personal legend." Imagine how much stuff you would miss! I think it's much more fun just to have some loose plans and always be open to change. This is a nice fast-paced book. Read it, enjoy it. I just wouldn't take it too seriously.

(By the way, this post was sort of sparked by my friend Ben's recent post about what happens when your passion becomes your career. The only way I would disagree with his post is that I'm not sure that we really have passions--just things that we've explored more than others. I think anything can become a passion if you devote time, energy and enthusiasm to it. Check it out, his blog is like sort of popular.)

Grand Theft Cinema

Don't you hate it when "heroes" in movies steal innocent civilian's cars?

Look, I don't care if you're James Bond, Jason Bourne, that guy from North by Northwest, whoever. The people whose cars you are stealing need those cars to get to work and have productive lives contributing to society in a concrete way. They make things, sell goods, fill out times sheets, and do all the things that we all depend on. So do us all a favor and don't steal their cars. Or at least make a point of showing the scene where you reimburse them for the fact that you just stole their possession. What a joke.

On a side note, if you're a bad guy, it's OK to steal someone's car. Part of the game, right? But if you want to pretend to be good at all, you can't just steal some random person's car. Unacceptable.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

When are they going to make away messages for cell phones?

One of the best parts about AIM is the away messages, which automatically come up when you message somebody that's not there. Typical ones include going to the gym, doing homework, and playing a little five on one. But for some reason cell phones don't have the capability to tell the person calling them what the person is doing when they don't pick up the phone. And it's about time, I say.