What I intended to be just a short nap after work became 6 hours of sleep. This new work schedule is so screwy.
One Year Ago Today
I pre-ordered my PS4, and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to think of how I bought it entirely with poker profit. I really need to get that money coming in again for more luxuries like that. At work I had another really good night, making this one of my best weekends of work ever. Sadly as long as I stay at this casino in the bottom section I’m not going to make anywhere close to what I used to make, which leads me to think that if I ever were to deal at Turning Stone again I would relish every table knowing that I could do a lot worse.
So after work last night slash this morning I decided to just stay up. There wasn’t any traffic probably because it’s a holiday, so that was a nice change of pace. I went to Wal Mart back in Torrance so I could go to a Super Center, and in addition to groceries I finally bought a broom, a mattress pad for my futon, and another pair of pants for work. The pants were $20, so a far cry from the outrageously expensive pair they tried to sell me at Men’s Wearhouse. Then on my way home I took a detour down some side streets to check out that neighborhood. There are a lot of little houses next to one of the busy highways, and it resembles the probably poorer neighborhoods I saw in Bell Gardens. So I’m happy I found a nice place to live in a nicer town. That detour brought me to the other side of the park I always pass, but I was still unable to see if they have basketball courts. I need to go there someday and check it out, because if they have open courts then I can finally shoot some hoops again.
When I got home I put my groceries away and contemplated what to do with my time. I would have spent the day at the beach or driving around, but it’s a holiday so I didn’t want to be out when everyone else was out since I can avoid it any other time. Plus I didn’t know what would be closed due to the holiday, so I just called it a day. My tentative plan was to read a chapter of my book, and I figured if I dozed off then I’d just take a nap for a bit and then have more energy to stay up the rest of the day. Then I’d take a shower after to further revitalize.
I read the chapter and didn’t get dozy until the last page, and then I laid down on my couch *for a bit*. It ended up being about six hours that I slept, and when I awoke it was dark. So I felt like I again squandered the daylight, although what did I need it for? I didn’t feel like showering now since I wasn’t going out and it already felt late. I still wanted to do my laundry, and earlier I went down to check it out but it seemed too busy. I still wanted to check before I got my stuff ready in case they closed early, and that’s what they did.
But I suddenly got the urge to keep walking, so I just went along and started heading down the street. I checked to make sure I had my wallet, and I decided to get some food from the first local place I saw open. The teriyaki bowl or whatever place that’s right outside my apartment was closed, so I headed further down. I hoped the Mediterranean place was open because I wanted to check it out, and if it wasn’t I’d keep going to the Thai restaurant or the Chinese place (but not the British place, no sir).
The place was open so I went in, and I was a little nervous because I’m not exactly familiar with that kind of food. They said they served only halal meats, and I couldn’t remember/figure out if that meant they were Jewish or Muslim. I guessed it was Islamic and Wikipedia confirms that, so yay me. Anyway, the guy seemed to know I was out of place but eagerly showed me the menu and gave me time to look it over. I went with a chicken gyro because that seemed a good standard, and it reminded me of when I got one when I visited Andrew in New York City. I almost didn’t get it because I was afraid I’d mispronounce it, which I did. I said “jy-ro” but the guy pronounced it “g-ro” (as opposed to “guy-ro” or “jee-ro”, or even “hero” or “euro”), so if that’s how he pronounces it then I’m sure that’s how you say it.
I waited there while they made it, and it seemed like a nice little place. I was worried that they wouldn’t get a lot of business being so small and unordinary, but they seemed busy with call-in orders and I’m sure they have a big customer base since they serve their own demographic. I forgot my phone when I headed out so that made me nervous, and it made the wait feel even longer. Then I got my food and they seemed like nice people so that was good. I went back home and ate, and it was pretty delicious. I don’t know if I’ll be in the mood specifically for food like that—mainly because I didn’t know what most of the stuff was—but it seems to be a good place.
Then it was about 9pm and I decided to finally watch the movie God’s Not Dead which my mom sent to me. She says it’s her favorite movie now and keeps asking if I’ve watched it yet, so finally I did. I was skeptical about it as a film because Christian movies don’t usually have big budgets or famous actors, and I worry that the writing can be very stale. There were a few actors I recognized like Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Dean Cain (Superman), so it was cool to see those actors again. The Newsboys also had a cameo in it so I loved that.
Anyway if you’re not familiar, the movie is about a college student who is asked in his philosophy class to write “God is dead” on a piece of paper at the beginning of the course. Since he does not, he is forced to instead conduct three lectures for the class defending God or proving that He does exist. There were a few other interwoven stories that added more angles to all this, and some I liked while others seemed too contrived. It’s just so hard to make a “good” Christian movie I think because you can’t undermine other religions in the process, or show non-Christians to be particularly mean in contrast.
There was a Muslim girl who has been hiding her Christian faith from her parents for over a year, and I was really worried they’d disparage that religion which wouldn’t look good. They had a good scene where the father told his daughter that he only makes her cover her face because it’s what God commands, and he sensitively tells her that he does it because he loves her. That was well done, but then they ruin it by having him slap her around when he finds out she’s been listening to Franklin Graham on her iPod. They showed him crying after in sadness over it, but it was still too much. When you’re using one character to basically represent an entire religion you have to be very careful how he is portrayed, and I think they went too far.
Then there was a young Christian woman who is taking care of her mother who suffers from dementia, and we find out that she’s actually dating the atheistic professor. I just don’t see how that would happen in real life when neither a Christian nor an Atheist would want to share their life with the other, so it was only for movie purposes. There was a decent scene that helped explain why they might bother sticking together, but it made her look weak and him look fake. Then they went way too far on multiple occasions to show him and his colleagues belittle her in public, and then her breaking up with him in the middle of a college cafeteria surrounded by professors and students was way too much like a soap opera.
The best part was the pastor and his missionary friend, and they were the most real characters in the movie and also served as most of the comedic relief. There was another woman who found out she has cancer so she ended up coming to God through that tragedy, after her boyfriend breaks up with her for her “unresolved personal issues” immediately after she tells him she has cancer. The main stuff in the movie was the three presentations the kid had to give, and those arguments/conversations were pretty authentic. It reminded me a lot of when I was in college and even when I took philosophy because I felt that the professor was trying to challenge my faith, so I wondered what I would have done if I had to publicly defend it like that.
But in this movie the professor made it his mission to destroy the kid, which I believe no professor would actually do. I can sort of see why a professor might want to skip over a debate about the existence of God to discuss other things, but to make it such a high mission right from the start seemed overboard. And in the end we learned that he was only like that because his mom died of cancer when he was 12, and he couldn’t believe in a God who would take her away after devoting her life to Him and after he bargained to worship Him forever if He did. While that’s a common reason for a person to turn away from God, I highly doubt that it’s the driving force behind so many great philosophers’ and scientists’ atheism. It’s the same problem you always have when trying to debate the existence of God. You cannot have an argument where the two parties are speaking a different language. God is not something that can be disproven by logical discourse, nor is God something that can be proven by emotional experiences. But in the end, you cannot disprove that God exists, but we are given free will to choose to believe in Him or not.
Overall I’d say I liked the movie, and it was pretty compelling throughout despite several poor scenes. The stories connected fairly well and the characters were generally believable. The acting was really hit or miss, but I don’t expect much from a smaller movie like this. I think it could have been written a lot better, but compared to most of the cheesy religious stuff out there it was pretty great. It got me emotionally at several times and I’m sure everyone can relate to at least part of it.
After the movie I wanted to play a little Diablo, which I previously thought would consume most of my waking hours today. I watched the movie Battleship while playing because I didn’t really have time for four episodes of Lost (I know it doesn’t have to be four), and I didn’t want to just sit and watch another new movie. The movie was nothing special but I didn’t expect anything from it. In Diablo though I finally got lucky to get to a special area filled with gold, and I made almost 25 million gold just from that one area. In the 2+ years I’ve played that game I’ve made about three times that, so to make that much in one sitting was crazy. It allowed me to upgrade my gems for my barbarian since he’s my main character, and there really isn’t much else to spend it on that’s worthwhile. Now that special area is a rare but possible place to go to so I guess periodically I can look forward to more gold booms like that.
Then I finished Season 8 of Sunny but I don’t know how to watch Season 9 since they’re not on Netflix yet (or obviously I could buy the season on DVD or something). So I’ll figure that out or just start my next show which will be Louie, and then after that I’m really not sure. I want to watch The Office again, and also Curb, and it’s been a while for Scrubs or HIMYM too. Now I’m going to bed after 7am which was not the original plan at all, and I feel like my Mondays never go how I expect them to. There’s just no way to win when I get home from work at 10am and I don’t want to waste the day either Monday or Tuesday. I have to figure out how to just stay up through Monday night or really only get a few hours, and not end up having to sleep in on Tuesday. Okay thanks for reading, and “It’s like the thrill of being near the executioner switch, knowing that at any moment you could throw it, but knowing you never will. But you could; never isn’t the right word, because I could. And I might. I probably will.”
—Eric Del Medico