Friday Five: What I'm Learning in College

I’ve learned a lot about the world since going back to college.  Previously, I went to a small community college, a small private college and small IFB Bible college.  Now I’m going to a state university with about 30,000 students; a big change in my life.  Here are some things I’ve learned.

  • Apparently, most college-aged girls can’t afford enough clothing to cover themselves.  I don’t know what they’ll do when winter comes.
  • The 80’s are back in a big way.  Now my Member’s Only jacket doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
  • No one talks anymore; people just text eachother, even when they’re sitting a few feet apart.
  • I should be in the textbook business.  I bought a used book for $150.  Used!
  • You know how sometimes you forget where you parked in a parking garage?  That never happens to me because there is only one minivan on campus.

So, the big lesson in all of this is that I’m old.  At the most, these kids are ten years younger than me, but we are from completely different worlds.  I guess having kids does that to you.  (It’s the kids right?  I’m not a nerd am I?  Never mind, don’t answer that.)

Friday Five: a Double Dose

Due to a lack of muse, this week’s Friday Five will be generic, but you’ll get a double dose.  First, here are five things that currently piss me off.

  1. Turkey bacon.  I love turkey and I’m okay with bacon, but don’t try to trick me with your fancy turkey bacon.  Unless you’ve created a turkey/pig chimera, just give me regular bacon and I’ll deal with the consequences.
  2. People who call me after 8 pm.  Listen people, I’ve got a family.  Unless someone is in the hospital, don’t call me.  I think your important question can wait until tomorrow.  (Unless you’re offering me money or other equivalent, then I’m okay with your call.)
  3. Mullets and/or Metallica t-shirts.  Men of Springfield, MO hear my voice: it’s 2007 and you are not in high school anymore, it’s time to give it up.  (But you can still wear your Dale Earnhardt hat.)
  4. My neighbor Chuck.  He’s turning a giant yellow schoolbus into a camper.  It’s parked in his back yard about 20 feet from my house.
  5. “If it reaches one person, it’s worth it.”  Really, so you’re telling me if I dropped a nuclear bomb on a city and one person believed in Jesus because of that, then it would be worth it?

Okay, now that I got all of that anger out, here are five things that I am currently okay with.

  1. Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms.  I don’t think I need to say anything else.
  2. The weather forecast.  It’s going to drop out of triple digits for the first time in about ten days.  I never thought I would be happy to see 95 as a high.
  3. The Cardinals.  I admit that I gave up on them, but after this weekend I’ve jumped back on the bandwagon (an aside: what the heck is a bandwagon?).
  4. The fall TV lineup.  More sci-fi than ever is about to hit the airwaves.  How can you not be good with that?
  5. My daughter going to kindergarten.  I just can’t ever, ever take her and leave her there.

Harry Potter Week: Day Seven (and Friday Five)

I thought I would combine Friday Five in with Harry Potter week, thus allowing me to kill two blog posts with one.  (The insanity of the previous sentence does not escape me.)  So, for the final post in Harry Potter week, here are five things that definitely, without a doubt, not happen in Deathly Hallows.  (No spoilers unless I’m right, which I hope I am not.)

  • Snape has a depressing conversation with the Death Eaters, resulting in mass suicide.
  • Dumbledore returns as a blue ghost only to reveal to Harry that most of what he said was a lie (from a certain point of view).
  • Dobby bites off Harry’s finger, thus enabling Voldemort’s demise.
  • Harry becomes a giant stone being who defeats Voldemort, then roams the arctic landscape.  (Bonus geek points for anyone who gets this reference.)
  • Harry wakes up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette and realizes it was all a dream.

Friday Five: Fictional Places to Visit

A lot of what I talk about on this blog has to do with books.  I love books, whether fiction or non-fiction, historical or theological, sci-fi or western, I just love books. 

I spend a lot of time reading or listening to fiction, especially of the genre variety.  The best genre authors create  a world (or worlds) where you absolutely want to visit, and maybe even live in.  So that got me thinking, what fictional places would I most want to visit?

Middle-earth.  I can’t narrow it down to one particular place, although if forced to I would probably pick the Shire.  Given the right time (not during the War of the Ring) and the right traveling companions, Middle-earth would be the absolute in a fictional vacation.

Arrakis.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, that Dune would be the worst place in the universe to visit.  But, can you imagine riding on a sandworms back with the Fremen, or collecting spice in the open desert with the smugglers, or even drinking spice coffee in Arrakeen?  I grant you that visiting Kaitain might be more pleasant, but not nearly as fun.

Hogwarts.  I would probably have to get some sort of special dispensation to visit the school, seeing as how I’m not a wizard, but if I went during Dumbledore’s tenure, I’m sure something could be worked out.  I might even be able to take in a few clases and then hop on over to Hogsmeade for a butterbeer.

Coruscant.  Like Middle-earth, I would have a hard time choosing just one place in the Star Wars galaxy.  I’m already going to Arrakis, so there would be no need to go to the rip-off planet of Tatooine, but I’m sure Alderaan, Corellia or Naboo would be beautiful places to visit.  As with M-e, visiting this galaxy proves tricky because there is always armed conflict going on.  I would probably go to Coruscant about 100 years before Episode 1, so as to avoid the Sith.

Neverland.  (Not the ranch, unfortunately that is not fictional.)  Okay, maybe only ten year old boys want to visit Neverland, but since I’m travelling to fake places, I might as well be able to change my age.  Anyway, think about all the adventure and excitement you could have on a quick trip to Neverland: pirates, alligators, boys with animal hats; the list is practically endless.

Honorable Mention: Metropolis, Gotham City, the world where Mario lives, Arthur’s Camelot, the Tardis, Pern, Wheel of Time world, and that planet from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where it’s always Saturday afternoon.

You’ll notice some places I’ve left off, namely Narnia and Oz.  To tell the truth, as much as I love the Narnia books, I never found the world itself terribly interesting.  It just doesn’t have that same lived in feeling that Middle-earth or Hogwarts has.  Also, I find Oz to be uncompelling (plus, there are those wheeler things from the second, crappy movie).

I could also add many real places I would like to visit with fictional characters.  I could travel down the Mississippi with Tom and Huck, visit Spiderman’s New York (talk about a dangerous place) or even Conner Macleod’s Scotland.

Friday Five: Comic Book TV Shows

Comic books are increasingly rising in popularity in film and TV; Spider-man 3 broke all sorts of box office records, Heroes is one of the highest rated shows on TV, and Batman is cool again. While many see this as a trend that is bound to fail soon, I see this as a great opportunity to get more comic books on TV. So, here is my list of five comics that should be made into shows.

  1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman. This would be a bit odd and very dark, but it’s one of the best written comic books ever.
  2. The Swamp Thing by Alan Moore. Forget the cheesy 90’s TV show, Moore’s Swamp Thing was dark and scary. Plus, Superman shows up in some very surreal scenes.
  3. Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski. It probably wouldn’t work now because the story is similar to Heroes, but Rising Stars is a great comic series. It centers around a group of people who have been given super powers and the search for a super hero serial killer. (Again, Heroes totally ripped off this premise.) Plus, it was written by the guy who gave us Babylon 5.
  4. Preacher by Garth Ennis. This would definitely never make it to mainstream TV, but could work as an HBO show. The story centers on an ex-preacher who gets fed up with God and goes on a mission with his killer girlfriend and vampire friend to give Him a piece of his mind. It really is a good story.
  5. Stray Bullets by David Lapham. This book (volume 1) almost defies explanation, but I’ll try. There are three friends who are on the run from drug dealers after stealing a load of cocaine. They hide out in a city called Seaside that is actually 100 miles from the coast; it was developed by an odd guy who was obsessed with earthquakes. The story only get weirder from there.

Well, there’s my list (although, no doubt I’m missing many). Anyone want to add anything?

Edit: Much to my chagrin, HBO read my post, went back in time, and started production on a Preacher mini-series.

Friday Five: What I Learned on Vacation

  1. Never, ever, say “This will be a quick, two day trip.”  You’ll end up broken down in Gainesville, Texas for a week.
  2. No offense to people in Texas, but people in Texas aren’t all that friendly.
  3. When a mechanic says “Two more hours” he really means “Tomorrow, or the day after that, if you’re lucky.”
  4. Whoever invented the portable DVD player is the greatest person in the history of the world.  A parent, no doubt.
  5. A good Western is the perfect vacation book.

Friday Five: Stories I Don't Care About

The blogosphere (again, I submit my displeasure with that term) is always abuzz with controversial stories. Instead of following in their sensationalist footsteps, I give you five stories that I don’t care about.

Friday Five: Books That Have Changed My Life

The Friday Five will be a weekly series, I hope, of lists that somehow pertain to me which you will probably not find entertaining (hey, I’m just warning you in advance). This week’s list is the five books (fiction) that have changed my life. They are presented in no particular order.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Of course there are a lot more books that could go on a list like this (see this one from two years ago, for example), but the limit is five. If I could give a few honorable mentions it would include The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.