THE UNKNOWN

A few weekends ago, I had my first experience camping, and I’m not going to lie, I freaked out a little. Okay, maybe more than a little. But I think it was justified.

A small group of us went camping for a couple of days. Thankfully, only one night. We were really in the middle of nowhere. We had to do some serious off-roading to get to this remote location. We even had to break out the chain saw to cut through tree branches that fell on the road during a severe thunderstorm the night before.

As if everything wasn’t already set for the beginnings of a great horror movie, when we got to the campsite, it looked like we weren’t the only ones there. There was a beat up tarp used as a tent and there was garbage everywhere including open sardine cans in the fire pit. We actually waited several minutes before getting out of the car because we thought surely someone had to be coming back. We were eventually satisfied and set up camp after cleaning up.

The real adventure didn’t happen until that night.

At night, my imagination got the better of me.

The moonlight was so bright that night that I thought the people who we thought had abandoned the camp site returned. I thought I was going to have to fight for my life that night.

You have to understand, out there, away from everyone and everything, your senses are heightened and you hear EVERYTHING. Chipmunks, or I hope to god they were chipmunks, ran under my tent constantly. I was convinced that they were fleeing from something, and do you know what? I WAS RIGHT!!!! I heard even more movement outside of my tent before I heard nothing at all. That’s when the serial killer usually shows up, right? Or in my case, a ferocious beast, growling outside of my tent, sniffing around for food.

I should mention that I was drinking a lot. Don’t judge me, I was camping. It’s what you do. But after drinking the night away, I was dying to go to the washroom. There was no way in hell I was leaving my tent with that thing out there.

Thankfully one of my camping buddies got up to go to the washroom, and I dashed out to do the same.

I never saw what it was that was prowling around outside of my tent, but my friend said she saw a deer and a wolf that night. The wolf didn’t get the better of me that night, settling for the poor deer.

Well it was certainly an adventure for me that night, one that I’ll be sure to go on again next summer. And while my imagination may have got the better of me, it might have kept me from becoming dinner. So I’m counting that as a win in my book.

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PERSON OF INTEREST

Person of Interest is a show that simply not enough people watch, and I say that even though about ten million viewers turn in every week to watch it. Despite those numbers, I don’t actually know a lot of people who watch it. In fact, the third season of the show ended and I had to lose my job, find a new and much better job, before I met someone other than myself who watched it, and he didn’t even have cable.
I love the show so much, that I bought the first two seasons on Blu-ray for the purpose of lending it to friends. I have and will go again as far as to say that I love it more than Game of Thrones. I’ll explain why later.
First, I suppose I should actually let you know what the show is about.
The show stars Michael Emerson, from Lost and Jim Caviezel, from……I guess The Passion of the Christ is his most noticeable work, but I loved him in The Count of Monte Cristo. The show is about Harold Finch, played by Emerson, who built a machine for the government that monitors everything. Its purpose was to detect terrorist activities, but it sees EVERYTHING, mostly crimes where a death is involved. The government deemed those people irrelevant, but Harold didn’t see it that way, and that’s where the show gets its title from. Every day he would receive a name, a “person of interest”. He wouldn’t know if the person was to be a victim or a perpetrator, and that’s where the mystery of the show comes. Harold is the typical billionaire thinker, not the kind of guy who is going to rush into battle when the need arises. He enlists the help of Jim Caviezel, an ex-special forces type, who at the time was lost and looking for a new purpose. Together they solve the mystery of the person of interest, while tangling with bad cops, ex-government operatives, and slew of other villains that make for great entertainment.
Now, I’ve just given you the simple premise of the show. The fourth season will begin this September, and it has evolved well beyond what it started out as, raising questions that parallel the government’s surveillance in our own world, while adding new enemies and great new characters, one of which, believe it or not, is the machine itself.
Okay, now back to Game of Thrones. I will concede that by comparison Game of Thrones has that one episode that is better than anything else on television. The Red Wedding, Joffrey’s end, both superb. I just find that the rest of their episodes fall way short of expectations.
Person of Interest, however, keeps me coming back each week, dying to know what’s going to happen next. Granted, Person of Interest is more episodic with an overall arching story line, but it’s because of that, the audience is left with a completion and satisfaction following each episode, where Game of Thrones requires you to watch three, four, sometimes an entire season before you finally get what you’ve been waiting for.
Now, whether you agree with me or not, Person of Interest is simply a show that must be checked out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed, and if you are…… well, we can no longer be friends. Just saying. LOL
So what say you? Have you seen Person of Interest? Should I be hung for attempting to dethrone Game of Thrones? Have your say.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Apparently everything. Now, I never put much thought into this before, because the thought of giving up my name, my family name, never came up. Why would it? Traditionally it’s the woman who gives up their name during marriage. Is it right? Is it wrong? I don’t think it’s about anything other than tradition. But there are those who don’t see it that way. Some view it as a claim of ownership and even a loss of identity, and it certainly was that at one point or another in history, but do people really see it that way now. Until recently I wouldn’t have thought so, but it’s true. Scoping my friends on Facebook, virtually all of them who are married or were married had taken their husbands name. But just because you write something on Facebook doesn’t mean that’s how it really is.

So, I asked them; what did they think about giving up their name? And of the women that I asked, I was overwhelmingly surprised that not a single one gave me the same answer. Here are their responses:

From K
“So far I never changed any documents….Only my marriage certificate says (my husband’s name). Everything else says (maiden name) but verbally I say (my husband’s name). I never got around to (changing it), but when I get a chance, I will. I have no issue with changing my name.” – K

From V
“I think it’s a personal choice but I chose to hyphenate because getting married is an extension of me. I was a whole person before I got married and it shouldn’t change my identity. I also want to keep my maiden name as a sign of respect for my family/culture/heritage. I don’t knock women who change their name….but the whole thing is a bit too patriarchal for me. ” – V

From J
“I was happy to do it. It was one way to show becoming part of something new. I did not feel it caused me to lose who I was, although it did show that something about me did change. Besides, the new name is easier to write, and to spell for others.  I felt like not changing it would be holding something back from the marriage. I do judge people a little I guess if they don’t change it unless it is for professional reasons. It might be nice if the standard was both people change names a little because it is a little patriarchal, but that would make tracing family history much more difficult. There should still be some tie back to both families ideally.” – J

From D
“So, I didn’t change my name when I got married. Reason is because I felt like I’d be losing my identity. There are so many things I’ve accomplished with my original name. I have awards and I have diplomas. People know me, they know my family. If I changed my name, I wouldn’t be the same person. I don’t think it’s fair that girls have to go through that and guys don’t. And I also don’t believe in the titles ‘Mrs.’ and “Miss”. It’s one title for guys, it should be one title for girls. Girls shouldn’t be subjected to the public knowing their relationship status. ‘Ms.’ is clear and easy for everyone. The old fashioned terms should be dismissed. In future, at most I will change my name to be hyphenated. But it will still be ‘Ms.’ – D

From S
“No it did not bother me in the least. I think it is all in the way you are brought up. I looked forward to being married and taking my husband’s last name, as we became one- kind of like a new little family. I’m not saying that if you don’t take the other person’s name then you aren’t one but it kind of always made sense to me. I don’t regret it, I wouldn’t change it now and if I had to do it all over again I would do it (the name change part) exactly the same way.” – S

First off I would like to say thanks to the ladies for their responses. It was interesting to have their take on changing their name for marriage. Whether they did or not, it certainly opened my eyes on the subject. I know there are a multitude of other reasons why you would change or not change your name, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it. There may be a part two to this depending on the responses.

I heard from some women, and I would certainly love to hear from more, but what do the guys have to say about it? I’ll certainly try to find out, and hopefully, I’ll get one or two genuine responses from them. I’ll share my thoughts as well next time too, so be sure to check back.

ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS, ABSOLUTELY

I had a bad day at work the other day, which prompted me to post this;

“You know why I love “The Lord of the Rings”? It’s because it shows how corruptible we humans are when it comes to power. Give me that kind of power and I would create a path of destruction the likes the world has never seen. And it would be for nonsensical reasons too! Cut me off in traffic: your car is getting launched 30ft in the air! For no reason, you stop your shopping cart to look at something you have no intention of buying when you know there’s a trail of people behind you: you’re being stuffed in the cart and the cart is getting launched 30ft in the air! If the ceiling is only 20ft, then your b***h a** is going through the mutha f**king roof!!! LMAO”

Yeah, I get cranky when I get annoyed…..or tired……or when people talk about food that I’m not eating. LOL! So anyway, I was wondering, are we really that bad? Are we truly incapable of being given great power and using it justly and wisely without eventually turning to the “dark side”? It’s hard to say. Sure we’d start to use it for good; bringing about an end to war, stopping terrorism, even preventing natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornados. But what happens when there is no more war? What happens when there is no more terrorism? The world is a big place, filled with all sorts of trouble. Certainly they could use a being of immense power to help them work through them. They might be a little hesitant to have an outsider intervene in their affairs at first, but I’m sure they’ll cave eventually. They’ll have to, considering I could literally move mountains.

Oh, I see where the problem comes from now. LOL!

We’re all different people. We may agree where certain matters are concerned, but it’s our difference of opinions where the real problems begins. When we’re all on equal footing, we can be civil, but throw a little omnipotence into the mix and the wants win out every time over out need to be civil.

So what do you think, giving power, could we as humans learn to use it justly, or would that power eventually corrupt us?

Novels vs The Big Screen

NOVELS VS THE BIG SCREEN

 

One of my pet peeves, when it comes to the movie watching experience, is comparing movies to their original source material. In this particular instance, I am referring to their novel counterpart. I know, it’s weird, eh? Of course people will want to compare movies to their original source. Well here’s the thing that bothers me about that. Nine times out of ten you will hate the movie, and you will say it’s not as good as the original, or the movie is way too different from the original. So, I say, don’t bother complaining about it. Personally I prefer it when movies are different from the book, because it gives me something to look forward to when I decide to pick the book up, which is often the case when I see a great movie. In my opinion, the movie acts as advertisement for the book. Books have so much more detail to them, details that easily gets lost in the movie.

Lord of the Rings is probably one of the best examples of this. I was determined to read the books before each movie came out, but in doing so, I was set up to be disappointed by the movies. Well, I shouldn’t say disappointed, because the movies were excellent. Peter Jackson did an amazing job handling so much content. However, as good as the movies were, the books had so much more to them. I’m not gonna spoil anything here, but The Two Towers ended with such a cliff hanger that I immediately dropped it to pick up and start reading the Return of the King. The movie totally changed then ending of the Two Towers to the point where there really wasn’t much of a cliffhanger, certainly not to the level that the book managed to achieve.

Because of this experience, I refuse to read a book, knowing that a movie is in the works. Books have so much more to offer. Movies don’t quite cut it, and to be honest, they can’t. They’re limited by a lot of things, none more obvious than length of time. So let’s not judge a movie based on the book it came from. Judge it based on its own level of excellence or crappiness, and just think of the movie as a trailer for the book that you’re probably better off reading anyway.

 

Hello

Hello world

My name is Ray Livingston, and while I am not new to the world of blogging, I am new to doing so on a more regular basis. Here you will hopefully find a variety of interesting topics. Some you’ll hopefully agree with. Some you will definitely disagree with. But that’s what I want. There’s nothing more that I enjoy than having a good discussion. Let’s just try and keep it civil! I hope to see you back here very soon.