Not-So-Random Thoughts for February 12th, 2007

Hi, my name is Wayne Winquist, and not only do I believe in God, I can prove that God exists: Look him up in the dictionary.

If “God” never existed, would the word for “God” exist? Would many of us still go looking for the best path we can take to God? You don’t have to be religious to know that “God” would not exist if people never searched for a higher being, an explanation to all of the universe, chaos and all, or looked for reason for and to live. In other words, there’d be no God if we never gave God definition and meaning.

Just a rant for atheists who refuse to believe that God – whatever he, she, it is – exists. And now, onto the rest of this posting.

Hannibal Rising: For those who don’t know my hang-ups on movies, I have a few sets of basic rules, the results from bad experiences with films in the past. One rule is that I don’t see a film if I know there’s a book out there. This one has been broken more than a few times since it was made, and rarely did I have a bad experience from it.

I am the 5th person in line to read the Book at the library, and am still in the middle of “The Children Of Men” (Yes, the one the movie is based off of – more on that in a minute), so there was little chance to read it before seeing it this weekend. I could have waited, but Lecter never fails to disappoint. 😉

So, If you’ve already read the book, I can not give you any opinion that would be helpful; that will have to wait a few weeks. However, if you’ve seen (and liked) the other Hannibal films, this is a must-see movie. If you’ve never seen any of the films, read any of the books, then this is the perfect time to start, because it is – for all technical sakes and purposes – THE first book, chronologically.

I’ll spare you the story that you can get in any newspaper review, and cut straight through: This is a Prequel Revenge Thriller. In Hannibal, we got to see references to his beginnings; this one literally takes you there, shows what causes him to snap from reality, the people who caused him to become the monstrous villain he later is, and his acceptance and study in medical school, working on cadavers as they are prepped for other students to study on. We also see his study of swordsmanship which is later used in some of his killings and many of the characteristics that fans will know and love from the chronologically later films.

We also see another side of Hannibal we have never seen before, at least as far as I can recall, on film: the compassion and conflict that tears at him inside. He has many opportunities with which to steer away from the evils he will do, and many events of which determine why he makes those choices. In the end, as we all know, he ultimately chooses the darker, more sinister path, but even then we still root for him, because we understand how and why he was led this way.

The thing that I think most sells this story is the two people responsible for bringing this version of Hannibal to life: Aaron Thomas, the kid who plays Hannibal when he is 8, and Gaspard Ulliel, who takes Sir Hopkins’ reigns and brings believability to this much-younger Lecter. Although I’d have a difficult time picturing him doing Lecter in either The Silence of The Lambs or Hannibal, if they had waited a few more years for the kid to mature, he could easily have pulled off Lecter in Red Dragon. In many ways, we could believe that he’s really a younger version of Hopkins, and vice versa – in many ways like what Alec Guinness and later Ewan McGregor did for Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars saga.

Until I have read the novel, I can not fully give recommendation for everyone to see this, and in no way should anyone not in their teenage years see this – although it’s not terribly gory, it’s pretty graphic in the killings Hannibal does and the events that shape him. For everyone else, however, I’d highly recommend you seeing this – even if you don’t like Lecter in the end, you’ll have a greater understanding and appreciation for the later films in the series, also good films in their own rights.

Work: Best not to talk about. I am pulling my applications for full time jobs on Monday, and taking a layoff this year. I make no guarantees on coming back next year.

Weight Loss Update: Since there’s not much to report – the only change being the weight itself – I’m just including it here. Last week I lost 9 lbs, bringing my total to 408.I expect either this week or next for it to go up, since the only difference I’ve made is eating less, and this weekend I ate more. The bright side? winter will be over soon, and it will invite doing activity – the serious thing lacking right now. Same goals as last week.

Where was this around Christmas? Most of the time you hear me complain about the white stuff on the ground. There is no argument that most of the time I hate it and all of the troubles it brings.

There are times, however, where I like snow. Times where the crunch underneath my feet and the tickle of a flake melting on you pulls you back to childhood, when the only thing you could care about is snow ball fights, building snow things, and of course – my favorite winter activities – sledding. And even if you hated being outdoors, hated the cold, there is still the undeniable fact that it kinda looks like icing on a cake, only that cake is enlarged. It’s the only time of the year where the outside world looks drastically different from our normal, everyday lives, and yet that difference brings with it a quiet, cold beauty all its own.

What brought about this change of attitude? Having to bundle up every day last week because if I didn’t, any bare skin would feel like it is burning right off of me. there is no real way to predict how and when a bus is going to get past a place, and no real accurate way to predict when to leave while getting the least amount of stand-and-wait time. the fact that I had friends willing to offer to take me home (thank you) was proof enough that last week was big-time cold.

When you get weather that can send you to a hospital in only a few minutes, getting weather where it is normal, consistent and – while unpleasant – more comfortable is enough to make like that which you hate, and remember that which you liked before about that which you now hate. Being able to walk in the middle of the road on what is normally a risky busy affair because it is too slick to drive is fun.

Get 2GetR: On my way to the Capri tonight, I was thinking to myself that I haven’t done something fun with a bunch of people in a while. And, it’s been even longer since it was anything downtown or anything new for me.

In order to take care of that downtown part, I invite you to join me on Sunday, February 25th, 2007, I’m going up to the Capri for a meal and – money permitting – to Don Carter Lanes for a some bowling. Any people interested let me know by Saturday, February 17th.

And as for something new, I’ve never been to either the Icehogs or the Raptors games. (I missed out on the Lightning entirely, although watching basketball isn’t my cup of tea – give me the ball instead.) Unfortunately, the next Icehogs game that I’d be able to go to looks to be in March (the next February games all fall on weeks where I don’t get paid, and the next one that does falls near the end of March, so I’d have to reserve for an off-week), and the raptors don’t start playing until the End of March. Anyone either planning to or want to attend any games let me know by the 24th.

Finally, I’m looking to break the movie habit for a while – not that I won’t see them, but going alone all the time isn’t fun. While transportation is a big factor in determining what I can and can not do (The other factors being NO STRIP CLUBS and nothing where I’m going to be drunk – not that you can’t, but I won’t), I’m open to suggestions you got something fun going on, let me know and I’ll see if I can join. (Just give me some notice: There’s little I can do on only 24-hours-advanced, and I may have other plans.) Thanks.

Biggest Loser Update: Still no word from anyone regarding making the show, but checking nbc.com today, the audition information is still on the website. Searching the message forums, however, it appears that February 19th is THE day to know whether or not I will make it onto the show. So, it appears that if I hear nothing by next Monday, I won’t be on this season and (don’t take this the wrong way) possibly never will. (No offense, but the goal is to lose the weight THIS YEAR, not next year, next decade, or when I am a rotting, stinking corpse in the ground.)

The thing is, I’m not holding my breathe on this.I have little to no confidence that I will make it, given the information I have found. People asking for information already have revealed that some people – who may be already cast – have been asked for a photo and Bio information, and while, according to a few moderators, this is not a definitive answer (it sounds like a few people stirring the shit pot), it does sound bleak. Until Mid-March, however, I have to have hope that I will make it.

One thing last I should note: If I end up making it on the show, only a few people who have already previously been asked for help before will be asked to help again – it appears, as I have suspected, that I would have to sign a non-disclosure paper in order to be on the show. If that is the case, there is no way I can reveal it online to anyone, and depending on the paperwork, I may be forced to limit who in my real life I reveal it to as well. So, at this point, the only way there will be future updates in me being on the show is as follows:

  • If I make it on the show, I’d be very certain, since they’re going to want to keep things secret, that there’d be no way for me to post updates. Essentially, if either a break or someone fills in for me on either of my blogs, then chances are really good that I made the show and am on it.
  • If, by March 20th, there’s still no news, I’ll be on to announce that I won’t be. (My guess is that the people who make it onto the show will have a month to get their affairs in order and prepare to be gone for possibly 13 weeks; I seriously doubt they’d risk pulling anyone with any less time to prepare.)
  • Finally, if next Monday I hear that I have made it, there will be a special, closed-door meeting Tuesday the 20th (@ work) and the Saturday the 25th (select friends who will be asked huge favors from) regarding how things will be handled for me during the next 5 months, as well as the final trip (for which I will be prepping 2 weeks before and after – you know how they like to do publicity!) for which some of you may be asked to accompany.

Let’s hope I make it! Mo later, and Happy V-Day, those of you lucky enough to have someone!

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