Category Archives: Critiques.

Analyzations. Over-analyzations.

What I really think about slackers.

Will I ever make a blogging comeback?

 

I miss you, WordPress.

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What I really think about writer’s block: Part Deux.

Really?

If you didn’t know, I have a blog entitled “Blocktherapy”–a way of forcing myself to write through my writer’s block (even if it isn’t really what I want to be saying.)

And, if you hadn’t noticed, I have been failing since going back to work.

How am I ever going to become a novelist, without also being broke and unemployed, if I can’t even keep up with a weblog while working in retail?

I suuuuck.

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What I really think about vegans: Days 4 through 9.

That’s right all, I’m am currently writing this at four minutes into my tenth day of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. That is halfway, and let me tell you: it still isn’t that hard.

In fact, the only difficult thing is breaking habit. It’s amazing how much shit I just put in my mouth, without even thinking about it! Small mints and candies and snacks are the most difficult, I just pop them in my mouth without even the slightest hesitation. Without fail, about 15 to 45 seconds later I realize that I have no idea what I am chew/sucking on, and I spit whatever I’ve just put in my pie-hole out, and read the ingredients list. And there’s always something: butter, gelatin, honey, whatever.

While things like cheese and sushi and sour cream are still on my mind, I find that I can easily and happily fill myself up on other delicious (plant-based) foods, and not really even miss them. Most of the time, the products that I’ve cut out of my diet are things that are unnecessary additions to already delicious dishes, or easily replaced.

For instance, we make bean/mixed veggies and greens/tofu burritos in whole wheat wraps with lots of garlic and salsa, and the additions of meat, cheese, and sour cream are just a fleeting thought in my head that skips out just before I sink my teeth into the burrito. Or just now: Taylor made whole wheat pasta with white sauce. I know it seems impossible, but she used Sour Supreme (a sour cream replacement) thinned out with water or soy milk, and cooked it up with garlic, salt, and pepper, and mixed vegetables, put it on top of her noodles and voila! it’s almost exactly like alfredo sauce! Stroke of genius, Tay!

Anyway, the munchies are starting to kick in, I’m on the hunt for some soy mocha almond fugde.

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What I really think about vegans: Days 1 and 2, and some of 3.

Today marks day number three of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart (thank you pcrm.org and gigsanchez.wordpress.com), and Taylor and I are getting along with the vegan lifestyle famously. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against eating animals or their by-products, necessarily, though it has always been somewhat of a gray area for me, even though I am hopelessly devoted to a number of dairy products.

Supposedly the idea of this vegan thing is to kickstart our health. A plant-based diet is supposed to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol, help us to lose weight, plus, for me it is a much more guilt-free lifestyle. I don’t feel that ridiculous guilt I felt while watching the movie “Fast Food Nation” (what a downer) and I can pig out and not feel too bad about it. Plus there is so much less fat involved, and empty calorie-consumption (of which I do plenty.)

Of course, the first thing I consumed on day one (aside from a couple pinches of granola) was a caramel macchiato (you know the routine–iced triple grande one-pump vanilla SOY caramel macchiato–no I don’t do the corporate coffee thing, but my girlfriend works there, which means it’s free, so why not?) I almost forgot to throw the soy in there, and realized how much more I love having milk in my coffee, just cuts it better, but the soy was also fairly enjoyable, though it made the drink a little sweet for my taste.

In other news, I have made a yummy veggie stir-fry thing (a couple of times), some homemade bread with homemade vegan jelly (thank you, Taylor), oatmeal, bean/veggie/tofu/potato burritos, salted popcorn, etc., and haven’t really felt that I was lacking any of my usual suspects (ie: eggs, sour cream, and any form of cheeeeeese, my one true love!) I also have not much missed meat, I usually don’t eat much of it anyway, as it isn’t super appealing and is quite expensive.

My verdict so far: this vegan thing ain’t so bad. That said, tonight I am going to a work party with Taylor, where I will be no doubt tempted by many delicious Asian dishes. Damn.

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What I really think about chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Dear Tillamook,

While I love your cheese (and squeaky cheese!) and other assorted dairy products, your chocolate peanut butter ice cream is hands-down the best I have ever eaten (which is really something, considering I am an avid choco-peanut butter fan).

The chocolate ice cream is so rich and creamy… The ribbons of peanut butter swirling throughout are so thick and salty, and so abundant, and without chunks of peanut–so smooth… The two compliment one another so perfectly, and it all dissolves in my mouth to make the best flavor combination known to man!

Keep up the good work, guys.

Yours, affectionately,

Blocktherapy

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What I really think about math homework.

Let me tell you, if I am ever thinking about how much I miss high school, all I have to do is try to solve a couple of math problems, and I’ll remember that only sadists and masochists enjoy high school. I suppose that the thought of P.E. class turns me off almost equally, especially with my lung capacity at what it is. But, regardless, as I sit here trying to compute, I remember what my beef with math is: I have never been able to fully grasp mathematical concepts. I have gripped the edges or beginnings or some parts of it, and have always felt like the answer was right in front of me and I was just missing it, not seeing or remembering something, and that is the most frustrating thing.

I am sitting down in the basement of my house, on the floor on a rug, room dimly lit, tapestries all around, my best friend next to me tinkering on her guitar, playing familiar folk songs, but whistling in place of the lyrics–I’m feeling all kinds of bohemian as I scribble down craziness and jibberish in my notebook (nevermind that it is actually not creative writing, but just me trying feebly to find the answers to simple mathematical problems assigned to my friend, who is going back to school to get her diploma.

But my methods are rusty, to say the least, and even when they were fresh, I was never very good at wrapping my head around any of it. It has been two years, or more, since I have done anything more than simple math, and even then the math was simple, nothing I couldn’t eventually circle my way around to. Maybe it’s the herb that’s working against me, but I think that it was actually (previously) keeping me super-focused and ultra-interested, ha. Really though, I think that there was a lack of interdisciplinary education, because seeing something in terms of something else, a comparison, helps to give perspective, and that helps you understand what mathematics is, and why it is significant, and how it applies to other things (ie: literature, science, nature, everything), something I did not figure out until college. Mathematics was simply memorization for me.

I can respect it, but never grasp it fully, and since I have to hate what I don’t know (right?!) I’d rather be without math, and off with it’s head! But I’d better press on, and try to help out a little more. It’s got to be rattling around up there, somewhere.

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What I really think about “The Road.”

A week (or two? or so?) ago, I (unsuspectingly) went out for a few beers with an old friend of mine–we’ll call him Osh. (:D) After consuming a couple of pints (mmm, yes, a very pleasantly warm buzz) which left me vunerable, Osh (the Wily and Malevolent!) somehow tricked me into seeing a movie with him (I think it was the drunken stupor and free passes that did it). From here, an experience so terribly scarring occurred, one which I have yet to get out of my head.

We saw “The Road.”

I had heard good reviews of the book from writers of The Believer (which I do recommend, as they have rarely led me astray), but knew nothing of the story or movie, etc. In fact, it was quite the opposite of what I had expected, as in my drunkenness I confused Cormac McCarthy with Frank McCourt.

Oh dear.

For the record, I haven’t read the book, I’m basing this blog purely on the movie, but I am open to the possibility that the novel is work of literary genius (though the movie was a traumatic enough experience to turn me off). While I’ve always considered the novel to be a more powerful medium of expression (because your imagine, inferences, and interpretation is much more compelling than someone else’s), this movie shoves the gray bleakness and total grief directly in your face.

It didn’t help that all I could see in my entire line of sight and most of my peripheral vision was the movie.

Don’t get me wrong now, I am not opposed to sad or tragic movies, nor do I think they should all have happy endings, and I’m perfectly fine with getting well outside of my comfort zone, in fact I think it is somewhat essential from time to time. But I would have liked there to be more of a story, or something of a lesson, or any sort of point or purpose aside from making me nauseated/squirm/want to cry.

If you are excited at the idea of this cinematic monster, then I must warn you: SPOILER ALERT!

To sum up the movie: In a post-apocalyptic world (though they don’t really go into any detail about this apocalypse, in case you were curious) a father (Viggo Mortensen) and son (some kid) walk across America, southbound, looking for the coast, where they hope life is a little better. Everything around them is pretty much dead/ashen/gray and it seems to be cold all the time. Any survivors are scavenging, and some have resorted to cannibalism (which adds some pretty grotesque scenes into the mix). Occasionally, the father has flashbacks to his life before the half-life he is now leading, which really just makes his current situation that much more heartbreaking and awful. And then he dies, and his son is taken in by another family, undoubtedly doomed to wander and scavenge until he starves/is eaten/contracts some virus/commits suicide.

Osh seemed to think the movie was well done, and I suppose I would second that, though I know little of how to critique that aspect of a film.

If you like to torture yourself, are looking to have a good cry, or enjoyed the book–I recommend seeing this movie. If you are looking to seek revenge on someone you hate, I would suggest gifting them a complimentary ticket or two to this movie.

And, if for some insane, self-loathing reason you find yourself planning to see “The Road,” please, do not drink beforehand.

But what do I know, eh?

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