Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Day of Terror

Yesterday will forever be known as "The Day of Teror". A day where people will look back on me, and say what a brave lad that Stewart was. In the face of almost certain doom, he turned on his iPod and carried on into the dragon's mouth! As the Rent Soundtrack swelled in his ears, he soon experienced incredible pain that no man should ever experience. Yeeeeaaaahhh... I went to the doctor yesterday.

Doctors are never this happy. Infact, I bet they photoshopped this picture. Yep, they probably had big ol' frowny faces before they started tinkering with it.

For the last couple weeks, the big toe on my left foot has been really sore. I just figured that I banged it on something and it'll be better in no time, but that wasn't the case. Mom finally found out about it when she accidentally dropped a massive, heavy, Godzilla sized painting right on my foot. I let out a high pitched scream (not unlike a little girl), and mom told me to buck up. I then explained that my toe had been sore for a couple of weeks, and now it felt like it was gonna explode all over the floor. Later on, I showed her my toe.... it didn't look pretty. I'll spare the details, but mom thought it might have been infected. Boy, did I feel stupid.

You get a bunch of random stuff when you type the word "Doctor" into Goggle. Doctor Who underpants? I'm not even that geeky!

I'll just say it right now, I hate going to see the doctor. You can just tell, the man loves to torture you with bad jokes. You'll be sitting there, and he'll just decide to crack some bad joke that comes right out of nowhere. You'll be bleeding and he goes "Oh yeah, the bleeding usually stops after an hour or so. Either that, or you'll run out of blood". I thought he was serious! It scared the heck out of me! Haha, just kidding doc, you know I love you.

I swear, my doctor looked just like that!! The fire and everything!

So anyways, the doc deduces that I have an ingrown toe-nail. I was thinking 'Well, that's great doc. Gimme the pills I need to take and we'll call it a day". But of course, the situation was much more serious then that. First, he had to stick this massive needle into my toe and inject some stuff to numb it up. THIS HURT ALOT!! When a doctor usually says you'll feel a little sting and a burning sensation, you figure that he'll just poke you and be done ub a few secounds. Of course, this wasn't the case. I'll just say this... OWWWWWWWWW!!

I'm sorry mam, but your son's swolen toe seemed to be more serious then we thought. As it turned out, your son had been infected by a retro-virus that turns ordinary people into brain-eating zomibes. He's stumbling about the halls as we speak.

After he poked my toe about six or seven times, I figured it was time to turn my iPod on. Trust me, this entire tramatic experience was made bearable through the magic of Rent. Next, he pulled out this huuuuugeee metal thingy (I don't know what to call it), stuck it under my toe nail, and lifted it up. The pain, the horrible pain!! And as if that wasn't enough, he seemed to take great joy in pulling out a jumbo sized pair of sizzors and cutting the nail in half. OUCH!

Be very very quiet. I'm hunting patients. *insert Elmer Fudd laugh*

While the searing pain was nearly unbearable, our hero stood in triumph upon the procedure chair. No more would his toe ache in terror, no more would the evil doctor poke him with needles. He was a free man! Unfortuantelly, he had to wear a really clunky shoe that the doc gave him for while the toe healed. Much complaining ensued on the part of our hero.

A Message from the Blogger: While it was a truly grueling experience, I may have exaggerated just a little. Not very much mind you, because it was horrible. However, the tale you had just witnessed may have been double dipped in whinning and lies!

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Half-Life

Half-Life 2... has consumed many valuable hours of my life. First it grips on with it's engaging story and dazzling graphics, but then it plants you straight into situations beyond your wildest imagination. Be warned, Half-Life 2 will take up about half your life. Without warning, you will become dependent on it's intense gunplay and trippy thrills to get through the day. Half-Life is more then a game... it's an addiction!

The Half-Life mod everyone has been waiting for.... "SNAKES ON A G-PLANE"!

Okay, enough of my stupid intro to what I've been doing for the last couple days. As you've probably already guessed, I've finally decided to buy Half-Life 2. A truly amazing game, that I can't seem to get away from. Even though I get stuck every ten minutes, even though the constant running and gunning gets repetive after a couple hours, Half-Life 2 packs a cinematic punch. For example, the teleporter scene early on in the game is one of the coolest scenes I've experienced in a game.. period. It had such a weird "What the Heck Am I Supposed to Do" feel that you can't help but get a little excited. Game presentation at it's finest.

Alyx doing her best Trinity impression.

The characters in the game are amazingly animated, and actually feel like real people instead of the usual broad stereo-types you get in most first-person shooters. My personal favorite character isn't much of a shocker for Half-Life 2 fans, Alyx. She just has sooo much personality, and she adds a lot more personality to a game that could have been all about shooting and blowing things up. The rest of the cast is just as fantastic, mostly consisting of quirky scientists and the totally creepy G-Man. I'm not very far into the game, but I'm sure I'll encounter him again.

Hey guys..... I'll give you a dollar if you don't kill me.

The only problem I've had with the game is the lack of guidance. You can tell that I haven't played many first-person shooters when I get lost in what seems to be a very simply constructed level. For example, the stage with the Hover Boat was quite frusturating because I couldn't find that GOSH DARN LEVER!! Ughhhhhhh, I hate passing over stupid stuff like that. Sooooo, I spent the next forty-five minutes trying to find the dumb lever, when someone just decides to kill me so I can start all over. Ughhh!

I'm sorry, I can't help you. The thing is.. I kinda saved my own butt by paying these weird alien dudes a dollar. Yeaaaaaaaahhhh... sucks to be you.

Besides my apparent lack of lever finding skill, the gameplay is quite intense and addictive (and violent, might I add). I'm currently stuck in the zombie infested town of Ravenholm, being stalked and attacked by many a zombie. This was when I came to realise just how much fun the games physics engine is. When I ran out of ammo, I just pulled out the Gravity Gun and started using random stuff around me. Furniture, televisions, soda cans, anything that I could find laying around the street. Firing said object at said zombie is always totally awesome (sorry, I can't think of a better way to describe it, even using proper grammar). I wish the game had a slow motion effect, so I could watch as that soda can bounces right off the zombie's head. Good times, good times!

Where's Tom Cruise when you need him?!!

I'm going to dedicate this paragraph to just how bad Gordon Freemen is. In the face of danger and almost certain death, Gordon stands tall (and says nothing). He doesn't crack under pressure, no matter the situation (and continues to say nothing). A really cute scientist chick could come up to him and start a conversation, and yet he continues to say nothing. Some really scary thingy could lurch out of the shadows, and Gordon will still continue to say nothing. I have one question for the developers..... HOW CAN YOU MAKE A CHARACTER WHO HAS A REALTIONSHIP WITH EVERYBODY IN THE GAME, AND YET HE DOENS'T SAY ANTYHING?!! EVERY!! Jeez, I thought it was silly when Jak (of Jak and Daxter fame) couldn't talk, but at least he grunted and moaned every now and again.

Gordon Freemen: The World's Least Interesting Leading Man

In conclusion, I'll probably make another blog update after I get the other half of my life back. Untill then, may the geek be with you!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Wako: The Rules of Engagement Review

Once in a while, a movie comes along that actually disturbs me. A film that not only keeps you engaged to the very end, but also shocks and disturbs. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is one of those films. A documentary about 1994's 51-day siege of the Branch Dividian compound in Waco, Texas, which resulted in the complete destruction of the compound and the deaths of many innocents. As "The Rules of Engagement" unfolds, the movie delves into facts not revealed to the public, and how portions of our own government straight out lied about the siege. What really happened at the compound is the stuff of nightmares.

A picture of the Branch Davidian compound burning to the ground.

Using footage from the actual siege, the senate investigation hearings, as well as interviews with experts and the survivors of the trajedy. This gives you a real sense of what the conflict must of been like, and the painful deaths most of the innocents inside the compound experienced. I'm not going to give anymore details for those not familiar with the subject matter; this is a movie you have to experience for yourself. Dark, unsettling, and one of the best movies I've seen for a long time. After seeing it, many will begin to question how our government and law enforcement could handle the situation in such an inhumane and grotesque way.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Classic YouTube Videos

I'm really bored, so here's a bunch of links to videos that everyone should see at least once. These are "Kaleb Approved"!

Chad Vader- Day Shift Manager (Episode 1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wGR4-SeuJ0&mode=related&search

Kaleb Review: This is the most orginal Star Wars fan film I've seen in a very long time! I don't wanna give anything away, so just watch it.

X3 Dub (X-Mandomn3ss): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaz5DPWxcDI

Kaleb Review: This one is far less popular, but I really don't understand why. This is a fantastic dub, especially if you've already seen the movie. Great stuff DyceVaruna!

MrNutz gets root on R2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKjBRdMFkS0

Kaleb Review: So stupid.... that it's almost beautiful.

Ask A Ninja Question 23 "Ninternships": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNWwsXQtJl8

Kaleb Review: The Ninja is one of the best things to happen to YouTube. Don't believe me? Watch this clip, then you'll understand.

Zipa Dee Doo Dah (from "Song of the South"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFWvuycZ190

Kaleb Review: This movie has yet to be released on DVD (apparently because of Disney's belief that Uncle Remus being a slave might ofeend some people). I've seen the entire film, and it isn't offensive at all. Anyways, this is one of the best scenes from the movie.

Japanese Spider-Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Oaki3Droo

Kaleb Review: Wow, this is really sad. I'm not sure whether this is Spider-Man or Transformers.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Great Stoires

Last night I was watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I don't know why it was, but the movie really got me thinking about life and the way we lead it. I know, I'm sounding melodramatic, but I didn't even realise it until the last twenty minutes of the film. It was three o' clock in the morning when the movie ended, and one scene rang clearly in my mind while I went to sleep.

Nothing smells worse then a Balrog's gas.

It was the scene where Frodo is about to get snatched up by the Nazgul near the movie's conclusion. He's been completely taken over by the ring, so he doesn't have any choice but to stand in front of this wretched winged beast. But right at the last moment, when all hopes about to fade, Sam takes him away from it all.. and nearly gets himself stabbed by Frodo in the process. There's a long silence. Sam says, "It's me! It's your Sam! Don't you know your Sam?" Frodo falls to the ground and says in a gentle earnest voice, "I can't do this, Sam". Sam gets up, and gives what is in my opinion, what one of the best monolouges in movie history.

Crap!! I think I dropped something! That hobbit probably wasn't important anyways.

He starts telling Frodo about the great stories, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened! But in the end, it's only a passing thing. The shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stuck with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, I finally do understand now. Folks in those stories, had lots of chances of turing back only they didn't. They kept going, because they were holding on to something. Frodo looks at him and asks, "What are we holding on to, Sam?" Sam answers with one of my favorite moive quotes, "That there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

*Brokeback Mountain music plays in background* I wish I knew how to quit you, Mr. Frodo!!

I had seen that scene a dozen times before, but that night it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a scene that's hard to come by these days, a scene where a character almost completely takes himself out of the situation and compares it to the stoires he was told as a child. Through all of the choas and violence, there's a scene of quiet discovery. I felt a tear go down my cheek, because for me at that moment, the scene represented a huge chunk of my life thus far.

Frodo during one of his "emo" phases.

As a kid, I always wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Let's face it, you probably wanted to be Luke Skywalker at one point during your childhood. I wanted the adventure and the excitement, but most of all, I actually wanted to be a great person like Luke was.

Stories have the power to effect us when we're very young. They have a way of speaking to us, even when we were too little to entirely understand the plot. We're thrilled by the adventures of Indiana Jones and his search for The Lost Ark, but we're also completely emotinally connected to the character. Here's a man who would risk it all to save the rest of us. Not many people would take the measures that Indiana Jones did, and that's why the movie spoke to audiences beyond it's action sequences.

This is what I used to look like! That was when I was still using the Bowflex.

The interesting thing is, as I grow older, the more and more I refer back to stories I knew as a kid. If I'm going through a tough situation, I just think back to a particular scene from one of my favorite movies, and think about what the characters had to go through. It makes my day to day life look incredibly easy! Those guys had to climb mountains, fight orcs, and throw some trinket into an active volcano! Now that's tough!

It sounds kinda silly when I put it out there like this, but it's something I think we all do to some extent. That's the entire point of great stories, to give you something to hold on to when you're going through a rough patch. I was sitting there, watching the movie, and all of this washed over me like a flood. The great hereos kept goin, because they were holding on to something. They were holding onto the fact that there is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for. We all contribute to this world, even if the contribution is small and insignificant. Thanks, Sam! Thanks for the lesson, and the memories!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rent Review

Simply put, Rent is the best movie musical to come out in years. Based on the Broadway musical of the same name (which was a remake of an older play called La Boheme), Rent truly is a fun movie to watch and hear. More importantly, the film has a real heart and soul, something sorely missing from most Hollywood produced movies today. Rent will stay with you well after the ending credits roll.

Starring a cast of drag queens and drug addicts (but boy can they SING!!!).

I'm not saying that it's a perfect movie. Infact, it's far from perfection. There were a couple scenes in the movie I felt were entirely expendable, and hurt the flow of the story. For example, the scene with Maureen's protest could have been cut waaaaaayyy down, or even out of the movie. Another point to be made is that Rent has a few very campy moments, which I didn't mind, but I've read other critic reviews that disagree with me. Basically, it suffers from flaws that every musical does, the fact that some people think it's funny when people break out into song. I personally found it refreshing and electric, but I'm sure that there are many who won't.

And now time for something competely different.

Which leads me to the music. Oh sweet lord, I loooovvee the music! From "Seasons of Love" to the film's finale, Rent boasts an outstanding array of songs. Unlike films like Chicago, these songs are actually based on subjects you can relate to on a personal level, making the whole feel far more human then any recent musical fair.

In conclusion, it's a musical tour de force. If you can't stand musicals, you'll feel like jabbing your eyes out thirty minutes in. If you're like me, however, you're gonna enjoy yourself. It's not a great movie, it's not even a particularly well made movie, but it's an entertaining and touching one. In my opinion, IT WAS RENT-TASTIC!

Rating: B

Kaleb Approved Rent Clips
Life Support: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz-JI-SaCck
Seasons of Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3SBqnT5KP8
You'll See Boys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekdh0ZYfODw

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I'll just say that last night was a blast!! I went to this dance at the home school expo (I don't remember exactly what it was called). Woah... IT WAS AWESOME!! It was like awesome to the third power! No, it was even more awesome then that! It was like... SUPER AWESOME! Yeah, I'm a little hyper right now. *bounces off the walls*

Name: Russell
Favorite Animal: Ninja Penguins with Chainsaws!
We Never: Want to See Russell with his Shirt Off Ever Again!!!

Yeah, it was quite a night. The only real dissapointment was the fact that I wasn't made a posse leader by my friends (meaning that they all got cool canes, and I was stuck with the broken crappy cane). Yeeeaaahh, we're a very strange group. Strange in a strangely awesome strange way! They are all amazing, and we all have some great quirks (I love quirky people). Friends can make a great dance even more brilliant and electric. Especially when you keep bugging them randomly throughout the evening. While we're on the topic of bugging people, I would like to apoligise to James for my constantly annoying nature towards his person.

I think I've already mentioned that the dance was amazing, but did I mention that I danced like a somewhat retarded geek? Well, I did! It was brilliance in a can, and then some! They could have played less rap and hip-hop, but most of the music was pretty good.

Name: Christine
Age: 14
Least Favorite Song: You're Beautiful by James Blunt

Yeah, it was a fuuuunn night! Dancing with random people, singing along to "I Will Surive", and doing the "Spaz Attack" to dozens and dozens of songs! I danced till I couldn't dance anymore! Now my legs feel like logs, I slept till some ungodly hour, but I'm still dancing around the house like some kind of crazy person. SIGN ME UP FOR THE NEXT ONE!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Why Must Everything Be an Allegory?

Just recently I was reading a review for "Superman Returns", in which the critic said that the Superman character has many similarties to Jesus Christ. For example, in the scene where he's floating in space and you can hear the voice of his father saying, "I've sent them you, my one and only son". That's all fine and dandy, if the reviewer didn't insist that that portion of the film was meant to be an allegory. Not all films have a deep religious theme to them (and how come it's always Jesus.. why not Budha).

Poor Sup! A man just can't be the world's savior without immediately being compared to Jesus.

I don't know why this bugs me so much. It's just that most of this guy's review was talking about all the intentional Christian ties (which I would call universal themes, that aren't tied down to any religion) instead of actually reviewing the movie. I guess it's because I've seen far too many critics analzye these movies for some piece of possible allegory (which often doesn't even exist) instead of watching the movie! It's silly! If I tried hard enough, I could come up with five reasons why Jack Sparrow represented Christ in the latest Pirates film. Which I wouldn't, because that would be dumb.

I can understand drawing comparsions, but when you say that there is no way that the director didn't intend for the piece to draw such comparisions, then people are just being silly. Unless it's something like "The Chronicles of Narnia", where the writer actually said straight out that it was an allegory, then it probably isn't an allegory.

So if Superman is supposedly the Christ figure of the story... does that mean that Lex Luthor represents Simon Cowell? ...... I don't think that came out right.

Yeaaaaahhh, I guess this is the topic I end up writing about when I spent my afternoon reading movie reviews. Honestly, the guys breathe way too much into these films. Not everything is meant to have this amazing christian theme to it. The themes represented in the movie are universal in many religions and stories. But of course, that means that they couldn't make a big deal about the entire "Superman represents Jesus" thing. IT'S A SUPER HERO MOVIE!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Human Condition

I'll admit it, I've been rather moody for the last couple days. What's weird is that I really don't know why I'm cranky, I just am. Maybe it's because I've limited most of my attention to the television instead of to things that could actually benefit myself and my lifestyle. Just because I don't have much to build towards for the next couple weeks doesn't mean that I should just sit in front of the computer all day.

I fell not unlike this dog. Of course, this is after I realise that I haven't achieved much that day.

Or maybe it's something more. Maybe it's because I set impossible personal goals for myself that I can't possibly live up too. No ones perfect, but I usually feel that I must be. Sometimes, I feel like I'm constantly being judged, like I'm a part of some insanely complicated game show. I feel this way not because of people's judgemental nature, but because of my own insecurity. I know everyon ehas these problems, and that's why I felt it would make a great topic. Everyone is conflicted with personal problems, even when they're at the highest point of their lives. So the real problem is that many of us just don't appreciate the things that we have.

Aren't you glad that you've got Bono with you wherever you go?

Take me, for example. I live in a gorgeous house, and I have the most loving parents anyone could ever ask for. I'm sure millions of kids would die for the position that I'm in right now. Yet... I'm not always happy with it. Why is that?

I'll tell you what, whenever you're feeling down, take a good look around at where you are. You've got a home, a body that hasn't failed you yet, and that amazing known as "life". Truly, that's all you really need. The rest is up to you.

Some people are in far worse situations. Some have to deal with abusive lovers, the death of a loved one, and even the inevitability of dying from a disease you didn't deserve. However, only a small fraction of people are in such a horrid condition that there isn't any hope that things will get better. Remember the good, and try to get away from the bad. Everyone is capable of being happy, especially you!

See! Even this guy is happy. If only we were all like "what's his name".

Woah... I feel better already! Till next time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Kingdom Hearts 2: A Serious Addiction

Kingdom Hearts 2 is the best game to hit the PS2 since Final Fantasy X! The day it shipped, I remember racing over to my local Gamestop to receive my copy. It didn't dissapoint in the slightest.

For those of you who don't know, Kingdom Hearts is a fusing of Disney and Final Fantasy properties. For example, it isn't uncommon to see characters like Cloud and Auron (Final Fantasy characters) appear alongside the like of Hades or Malificent (if I need to tell you who these characters are, you need help). It's both quirky and and highly engaging, something many games wish they could be. Truly one of the best game game ideas of this console generation.

Guys, I think I've just ruined my good pair of pants. I'll be back in a minute. Don't DIE while I'm gone!

Here I am, a fifteen year old boy, playing a video game where two of the games strongest warriors are Donald and Goofy. Call me crazy, but I love every minute of it. Addiction has a new name, and it's "Kingdom Hearts". It's just soooo darn cute!

And over there is the "All You Can Eat Buffet"! We hope your stay at "Pala Casino and Resort" will be a pleasent one.

I've beaten the game three times, and am currently on my fourth playthrough (apparently I have nothing better to do). As if you didn't need further proof that I was a geek. Well, I could throw in the fact that I got kinda emotinal during the game's ending (which was beautiful, by the way). Whoops... too late!

Wow, that's quite a sword you've got there. What kind of polish do you use on that thing?

My favorite level has to be the "Pirates of the Carribean" world. Seriosuly, there is nothing cooler then kickin butt and takin names alongside Captain Jack Sparrow (who sounds more like some random guy pulled off the street then Johnny Depp). Now, if only real life was more like Kingdom Hearts. Then the world would be a better place!

I think we've got the coolest lawn ornement in the block! And you wanted to get a Garden Gnome!!

In conclusion, I'm still a huge geek. Till next time!

Kingdom Hearts 2 Gameplay Clips (from Japanese version)

1000 Heartless Battle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXMQfVXglwQ

Barbossa Boss Fight (Pirates): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFXlQw0YL1c

Hydra Boss Fight (Hercules): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZPvqvBRPNg