So That’s How Pretty Girls Feel

Natalie Wood in West Side StoryI wasn’t used to the attention, but it started to feel really good. As soon as I got a full-time job, I started to get daily e-mails and phone calls from recruiters actively seeking to hire me. I would get an e-mail in the morning and then by 1pm I would get a phone call from a strange number and it would be the same recruiter as the e-mail. My ego grew and I suddenly began to understand how pretty girls feel. Being the geeky guy who has always had to summon every ounce of courage to ask a cute girl out, this was uncharted territory for me.

After about a week and a half though, I started to understand the other side of that coin. Getting “hit on” at work by “other suitors” makes me uncomfortable, especially when I’m happy in my current relationship. I’m one of those people who won’t jump ship just because a new opportunity presents itself, provided I enjoy my work and feel challenged (in a good way). I remember a couple years back I told my boss that had I won the lottery, I would have showed up for work the next day and started donating my paycheck to a good cause. I meant it with all sincerity.

In July I received two job offers: one for a larger, more traditional company that two very awesome friends spoke up for me at (thanks again Amber and Karl) and a second that was less lucrative and with fewer opportunities for promotion, but which played to my strengths more and would provide me with the types of challenges and experience that I had been craving. I took the second option and have been very pleased with the results. Every day I learn new things about a completely different business field and I’m meeting a lot of great people. I get to hone my creativity, presentation/education skills, customer service, and as a result of working with so many sales professionals, I am starting to strengthen that skill set as well. Life is good.

The Photo and The Video

Rather than share the Natalie Wood video of “I’m So Pretty“, I thought I would add the Glee mash-up since tonight’s the second episode of the season. WARNING: If a failure to use apostrophes in captioning poses a medical risk to you, I highly recommend that you avoid pressing the play button.

Down Memory Lane

How Old Was I? - Photo 1

Artifact of the past: How old do you think I was?

Packing up and moving memories is not something I’m very proficient at. I tend to invest sentimental value into objects. Without occasional purges where I let myself be cold and insensitive, I could become one of those hoarders you see on TV.

My parents are moving to the cities and so I was called down recently to pack up the memories of my childhood.

The process took me awhile as I found myself lingering on artifacts of a bygone era:

  • The cabinet that I pulled down on myself – breaking both legs (now in my garage)
  • The old school desks where we attended Cub Scouts
  • The painted Wizard of Oz characters on the basement wall from my mom’s art class days that will probably be painted over by the new owners
  • The yard where we played endless games of football
  • The hedge fort we (three brothers + friends) tried to blow up with fireworks after my father built us a proper playhouse.

They’ve been contemplating the move for 3 years so it’s been easier to wrap my mind around. They passed off the toys to my nieces and nephews over the last few summers and started pushing off books and other bulky items last year to make this year’s work more manageable.

The Photo

In addition to offloading old chairs and cabinets onto us, we were expected to clear out old photos and school records. The photo at the right [NOTE: At the time, I was still shorter than most of my friends and so I relied upon an extra couple of inches of hair to help me feel taller – I was not trying to be Buster Poindexter] was one example. I showed it yesterday to my roommate and his girlfriend and asked how old they thought I looked.

“Like 10 or 11?”

In actuality, I was 21, but that story will be the subject of a future post as it’s going to take longer than a lunch hour.

Pirate School

A Howard Pyle Pirate PaintingA friend of mine recently provided an anecdote about his son’s desire to go to “pirate school” (he misheard “private school”). My suggestion to him was that it was a great entrepreneurial opportunity for “a pirate themed charter school with an interdisciplinary approach based on nautical themes and a civilization’s need to create rules to mitigate conflict. You would still teach the three ‘Arrhs!’ but they would be approached more holistically.”

Overnight I had some further thoughts as my brain revisited my Interdisciplinary Curriculum and other educational theory courses. I wanted to get down those musing on how to structure this so I could move forward with my day. I figured it more towards a middle school (mainly considering the physical education components) than an elementary school, but adjustments could be made.

My big concern is that kids would take the practices of piracy too close to heart (bullying, stealing, etc.) so it would need to be stated early on that there is a code of conduct and that failure to follow “the captain’s orders” would mean being forced to “walk the plank” to another school (hence the conflict resolution course in social studies).

Language Pods: Traditional English, French Immersion, Spanish Immersion (doesn’t have to be Caribbean-centric, could be more global)

Science:  Underwater ecology, boat building (w/Art), navigation (w/Math), astronomy

Math: Units of measure, sailing math (winds, speed, tides, etc.), navigation (w/science), maritime economics (w/Social Studies), cargo planning

Social Studies: History of water travel, maritime cultures, maritime economics (w/Math), civilization’s role in conflict resolution

Physical Education: Rope climbing, aquarobics, fencing

Art & Crafts: Knot tying, pottery, art appreciation (pirate paintings), henna tattoos, boat building (w/Science), pirate hat making

Detention: Swabbing the deck

Feel free to suggest your own curriculum suggestions and point out problems with my suggestions.

Speak Out With Your Geek Out – Which Super Power?

Mallrats

Brandi Svenning: Second Suitor – if you were a comic-book character, what character would you be?
Brodie Bruce: Wow, that’s a great question. A tough one, though. What does one gauge his response on?

  • Physical prowess?
  • Keen detection skills?
  • The ability to banter well with super villains?

– Mallrats

I belong to multiple groups that inhabit Geekdom, but one of the groups I align myself most is comic book geeks. Of that set, perhaps the most commonly asked question that defines the individual is: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? If they choose invisibility, do they want to spy on other people? If they choose flight do they feel overwhelmed by life and want to fly away?

mallrats3Before I provide my answer, I want to give you a sense of the evolution of it. While most other kids were planning to be a football star or an astronaut, I dreamed of being a superhero. In those early years I tried staring into the sun, paper clip in the wall socket, and mixing juices multiple times between two glasses just like the mad scientists. No luck. When that gave out, I wound up building batarangs in the basement with twine glued to the end hoping to climb the side of my house. Around 4th grade I accepted defeat and decided quarterback wouldn’t be so bad.

The earliest answer I can remember was flight. Then at around 4th Grade I started reading Dolphin Rider and Other Greek Myths multiple times and became fascinated with Hermes and by association, The Flash, and for a while I was all about the super speed (the DC version, real comic book geeks know the difference). As I grew older, I moved on to Green Lantern and the virtual utility belt that solid light constructs could offer. That transitioned into telekinesis and remained my go to answer up until grad school.

BrainiacIn one of my educational theory courses, my answer fundamentally shifted to: full-spectrum supragenius. I’m not talking Brainiac 5 with his pure logical reasoning, who can create an anti-gravity metal as a byproduct of another experiment and then doesn’t see how it will revolutionize his teammates’ ability to move three-dimensionally – I’m talking the whole enchilada.

The catalyst was my study of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The theory goes that geniuses don’t just come in one variety, there are many types:

  1. Logical-mathematical: Math and scientific reasoning capacity
  2. Spatial: Ability to visualize – used by artists, architects, and Tetris afficianados
  3. Linguistic: Reading, writing, verbal recall, and assimilating new languages
  4. Bodily-kinesthetic: Body control/awareness/reflexes
  5. Musical: Absolute pitch, ability to compose music, and master instruments
  6. Interpersonal: Ability to judge others mood/motivation and communicate effectively
  7. Intrapersonal: Intuition plus deep understanding of self
  8. Naturalistic: Being in tune with nature – naturalists, gardeners
  9. Existential: Ability to contemplate beyond what can be seen/felt

LimitlessIf you want a good perspective on what this would look like, check out the movie Limitless which taps into most of Gardner’s intelligences.

You may look at that and say “But Tim, just being a genius? That seems pretty lame compared to being able to fly.” True, but the beauty of genius is the ability to overcome obstacles. Look at Batman – is there any superhero/villain he can’t take down given the time and resources? He took down Superman in Frank Miller’s epic “The Dark Knight Returns”.

The other factor to consider is the fact that with superpowers, you would begin to disconnect from humanity. Who can truly fathom what is being asked of you? Who can empathize with your gifts? Have you ever been in a room of people trying to convince them that your vision of some possible outcome is the way to go and none of them can either attune to your logic or will hear you out? That’s the beauty of full spectrum – Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Existential, Musical, and Linguistic are part of the package, guaranteeing that you will be able to maintain your connection with the rest of humanity and be able to sustain meaningful relationships.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me that this would be the best superpower, but if you’re considering your own answer, I highly suggest that you check out the following informative videos that may help you make a wise decision. Then feel free to post your own selection in the comments area and try and sway the rest of us to your logic (which would be easy if you had logical, linguistic, and intrapersonal supragenius). :)

And if you’re a Wolverine fan boy, consider:

Movie Reviews – Take Me Home Tonight, Your Highness, I am Number 4, and Hall Pass

Saturday I hung out with my friend Bashar in lieu of getting some actual work done around the house. We talked about going to see a movie but I really wasn’t too keen on any of the ones that were out so I picked up Red Box. The following reviews comprise the entire Saturday afternoon viewing marathon, interrupted only by a post-curry nap midway through the second feature.

NOTE: I try to avoid spoilers, so no synopses. I do draw parallels to other movies/shows so you can determine whether it’s a theme you are interested in.

Take Me Home TonightTake Me Home Tonight
This one was the overall favorite of the marathon. It’s a romantic comedy starring Topher Grace set in the mid to late 80s. He’s a mathematical savant who doesn’t have a clue what he wants to do with his life other than to woo the girl of his dreams, so he’s working at Suncoast. The plot was to some degree predictable, a fusion of Say Anything and Can’t Hardly Wait, but the twists were enjoyable and I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. On top of all that, I was happy to see that Topher actually co-wrote the story so it’s good to see that he’s developing himself beyond acting.

Your HighnessYour Highness
Ok, I’ll admit, this one I had “high” hopes for. I enjoy my comedies and I dig the fantasy genre, but the real draws were: Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. I was significantly let down, hence the nap in the middle. The problem for me was the rest of the casting. They pinned the success on the ability of Danny McBride to maintain your attention, but he’s no Seth Rogen or Jack Black, either of whom would have had the charisma to make this movie work. While I’ve got a lot of respect for James Franco, I don’t feel that he was a good fit – they should have gone with a no-name and spent the extra money on Seth or Jack.

I am Number FourI Am Number Four
This one was a nice break from comedies and a foray into the sci-fi and supehero genres, basically a modernization of The Powers of Matthew Star. I enjoyed the special effects and the story. The only real problem I had with it was the attempt to build it into a franchise by not tying up all of the loose ends. The attempts to play up dark comedic elements of the antagonists some times fell flat.

Hall PassHall Pass
This one was enjoyable as well. It took it a little while to get going and it was no Wedding Crashers, but it delivered on some laughs. Owen Wilson is definitely starting to show his age – he didn’t look like he would have gone to school with Jenna Fischer as per the plot so there was a bit of a disconnect for me, but off the top of my head I don’t know who you would re-cast into that role with the ability to carry the movie in the way he did.

Regarding Hiatus & The Insolence of Office

Branagh as Hamlet“And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action… ”
Hamlet – Shakespeare

I started this project during a time when I had traded the metaphorical slings and arrows of the world of work for the brightly colored armament of the World of Warcraft (evidently there’s something cathartic in slaying virtual demons after being ganked by co-workers).

Then gainful employment opportunities raised their ugly chimeric heads, pressing me to submit revised resumes and prep for multiple interviews in the hopes of augmenting my waning bank accounts. In the ensuing chaos, the blog was abandoned to the fate of most previous iterations.

But I’m back. Time to dust of the spider webs and renew my commitment. I’ll post the content I had been editing tonight (probably) and I’m intending to post a “Speak Out with your Geek Out” post later this week.

I also have to take an hour for lunch so since I’m used to 20 minute lunches, I’m hoping to get some writing done mid-day [this one was delayed by a client calls during my lunch].