Posted in Academic/Professional, Health/Fitness, Language Learning/Travel, Life/Other

New Goal

I know that I have been slacking on keeping this blog updated and I apologize for that. Now that school and work have begin it’s just a matter of trying to figure out a schedule and time for everything. Having band all the time doesn’t help with that either.

So far I am highly enjoying this semester. My classes are all going well, my schedule is working itself out and my hobbies are coming along nicely. I do spend a lot of time at marching band though, but that will end at the end of October and I’m supposedly doing it this year for the fun of it.

My goal for the past few and a half or so has been to dedicate as much of my time as I can to preparing myself to take the LSAT this past Saturday. I think it went well, I won’t find out for about 3 weeks and it also means that I’m able to take on a new goal.

Over the Summer I made a lot of progress in my French and while I was living alone I even had days where I used mostly French. Now since I haven’t made it my focus and my recent use of French has been just in the classroom, I have dropped on my level. This however, is my new goal.

In the 3 Summer months I was able to get to an A2 (or B1 on a good day) level in French. Which is great progress. Now I plan on getting to at least a B2 level by the end of 2017. My French teacher has already agreed to meet and talk with me in French after class to assist with this goal. Additionally, I have postponed my blue belt test in jiu-jitsu until April so that my focus will be entirely on improving my knowledge of French.

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Posted in Religion

Unpopular Opinion: The Psalms

As I’m reading through the Bible everyday, I have finally made it to the Psalms. I don’t like this section that much because it’s not really a story, it’s just songs and prayers to God from (mostly) David.

Which is great, yes, David loves God and the Psalms being included obviously is a major stem from the Christian idea of worship and praise to the Lord. Those I agree with.

My idea here is that the Psalms don’t really need to be in the Bible. They’re important but they don’t really fit in. However, I suggest that they still need to be important to the Christian faith and they should be included in worship but as a separate book, like a hymnal.

There are more things about the Bible that have raised some good questions. Why is it out of order? Where does Job come from and why is he selected to be tried? Why is Leviticus still relevant at all?

I plan to talk about these topics in the upcoming weeks.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

X2 (2003)

The second X-Men film makes its debut in my Marvel watch-through. This movie really highlights the relationship struggle between Humans and Mutants, it literally starts a war.

This movie also really starts to dig into Wolverine’s past, with the introduction of Stryker, one of the people responsible for Wolverine’s transformation.

At the beginning we get a good introduction to Nightcrawler and we also get a sneak peak at Colossus as a teenager during the invasion of the school scene.

This movie does have some decent plot holes. For starters, there is the ever-obvious one of why the X-Men should be in their own universe. If they’re having this much trouble with Mutants then why are non-Mutant superheros (like Spider-Man) not a problem in this universe (yet).

Additionally, the acid-like substance poured into the back of Mutants’ necks. What is it, where did it come from and why is it so powerful?

As we continue through the movie we get introduced to another villain although no real name or backstory is given, comic nerds would know her as Lady Deathstrike. Not very well known or popular, also with long powerful fingernails doesn’t exactly come off as super intimidating. Where did she come from and why does she have powers like Wolverine? Before she gets the chance to say anything Wolverine fills her with the remaining liquid Adamantium (that I guess we’re supposed to assume was just chilling there since Wolverine’s transformation).

A major overlooked point I feel is that Professor X essentially killed (or basically mentally tortured) every Mutant and then every Human on the planet and everybody just kinda lets it go. Talk about evil.

Finally, the end with Jean Grey going out and killing herself so that they could escape seems very unneeded. She easily could’ve helped fix the ship from the inside and even if not, you’re telling me this super advanced jet can’t keep them safe from a bunch of water? I like how they had the faint outline of a phoenix at the end rising out of the water obviously hinting to her importance in the next movie.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

Daredevil (2003)

Part of my Marvel watch-through.

The Daredevil movie was enjoyable but had a variety of dilemmas. For starters, Elektra dies in this movie despite just being introduced. Like, in her first fight she gets stabbed with her own sword. But yet they keep Bullseye alive. What’s with the lack of his origin as well? They just jump right in with no backstory on the bad guy.

The actual Daredevil is very well put together though and I think the Kingpin is also a very good actor choice for this movie.

Despite the movie being good, I feel like how useless Daredevil is gets overlooked. Like yes ok he’s a blind vigilante but he only patrols one section of New York City? If it happens outside of Hell’s Kitchen just he just say “yea call Spider-Man, I only handle this neighborhood”.

The Stan Lee cameo is quick and right at the beginning. When Daredevil is walking around blind, he stops Stan Lee from crossing the busy street while reading a newspaper.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

End of Summer Update- Media/Pop Culture

If you’ve been following or randomly reading my blog you’ll see that most of my posts have been in this category.

I am continuing with my Marvel watch-through and I hope to watch Daredevil (2003) within the next few days. With college starting yesterday it’s difficult for me to keep on my Summer schedule of activities. Also in the movie category my girlfriend and I have been taking turns picking a movie series to watch and with this time being my choice I went with Lord of the Rings.

Video games have been less than active recently. I barely played over the Summer and now I’m definitely too busy to play. If I do I normally go with Civilization VI or if a friend is over I’ll go with Injustice: Gods Among Us or Call of Duty: Ghosts- Extinction.

I can’t seem to find the end of the Yugioh original series. I am about 15 episodes away and I am extremely disappointed with this final story arc. I highly enjoyed most of the series but I realize that many of the story-lines are very unnecessary. I am also in season 10 of Family Guy on Netflix. This has been going very smoothly but at this point I am starting to see a decline in the quality of jokes and I am ready to finish and move on. With just about 4 seasons left it’s going to be difficult. My girlfriend and I are watching Last Man Standing and I absolutely love that show. I can’t figure out why it was cancelled or why they switched the actress for the oldest daughter after season 1.

Finally we come to books. I have really increased my reading intake this Summer and it’s a habit that I would like to keep up with. I posted about when I finished the new Lorien Legacies book. I was also able to finish a book called Everything Is A Metaphor that was written by my jiu jitsu instructor, Leo Lefay. The beginning is all about jiu jitsu and it includes some great ways to look at the sport and the back of the book is a series of letters written to his oldest son about advice for different parts of life. Currently I am finishing my LSAT For Dummies book and will take a second pre-test before I take the actual LSAT (in 18 days). From there I will trade that book in for the book entitled Fluent in 3 Months, which was the start of the language learning program that I’ve been following. I’m hoping to really get a jump on my French after I am past the LSAT. I am also reading 1984 which I absolutely love and see frightening similarities within our own world governments today. Who could read 1984 without reading Animal Farm though? I finished Animal Farm a few nights ago and I very much enjoyed most of the book but I was very disappointed in the ending. I watched the CIA produced animated film many times when I was younger and it also had a different ending (that one was more satisfactory). The biggest reading challenge that I have taken on though is reading Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours. It’s the original (French) version of Around the World in 80 Days. This is so that I can boost my French reading comprehension but it takes me a long time to read even one paragraph.

Posted in Religion

End of Summer Update- Religion

Now this category is not one that is updated that often. About mid to early Summer I finished my book on Buddhism. Now I am reading through the Qur’an and I am still making progress in the Bible.

In the Bible I am in the books of Psalms. They’re okay but I prefer the stories of the Old Testament to these songs. The book of Job was not very enjoyable either. When you hear that story it doesn’t seem that bad but the book is mostly just him complaining about his life with his friends. At the end it seems kind of rushed that God gave him back everything. There was some mentionings of a Leviathan, which ended up being described as a dragon and I feel like that is extremely overlooked.

The Qur’an so far has been decently surprising. It only calls for violence so far if they are being persecuted and talks a lot about giving to charity and learning the Qur’an. The biggest downside that I have seen is the belief that all religions are stems of Islam, just misinterpreted by various prophets and that it blatantly states that women are not equal to men.

Posted in Academic/Professional

End of Summer Update- Academic/Professional

I’m not sure if I ever posted this but I graduated with my Bachelors degree this past May. This has put me in an interesting place with about one year left on my National Guard contract plus one more year for my girlfriend to finish her Bachelors. I have already let everybody know that I plan on going to law school. So what should I do in my gap year?

Well, I decided to go back to school. This time for a certification in Paralegal. This way I can gain knowledge of the workings of the law and still work in the legal field regardless of law school.

This Summer I have studied for the LSAT daily, which is more than I’ve ever studied for any other test in my entire life.

Outside of that though I have been reading a lot more (I’ll post about that in my Media/Pop Culture section) and recently I have started watching a TED talk a day. This started because the polyglot whose method I’m following for language learning, Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 Months, was featured on a few and now I watch a variety of them. Regardless of if its language learning, travel, self-improvement, passive income, etc, I enjoy hearing their stories and gaining ideas that I can implement in my life.

Finally, I have added the Khan Academy app to my phone and I have done a lesson or video every night before I go to bed. This started because I felt the need to cut down on social media intake but now I love it because it is a refresher of things that I learned in high school that I have never used again but are still things that I feel would be useful to know, like physics or economics.

Just because it’s Summer break doesn’t mean you should stop learning, and if you’re out of school that also doesn’t mean you should be done learning. You should try to improve yourself and your mind everyday, starting by learning, or relearning, one new thing everyday.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

Spider-Man (2002)

I have finally gotten to the point in my Marvel watch-through that most everybody knows and loves. The first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man. This movie I feel is very important not only to Marvel or Spider-Man but also to the idea of what a Marvel movie is today.

This is one of the better representations of how old Spidey should be and it includes the webs shooting directly out of his wrists, unlike all the other movies and unfortunately the comics too (until he fights the Spider Queen, but you’ll just have to read the comics for that).

The major downside of this movie is that it eliminates the original Green Goblin. The Green Goblin is supposed to be one of Spidey’s most notorious villains and they killed him in the first movie so it didn’t leave much room to expand.

Other than that it includes some major highlights such as the best portrayal I’ve seen of J. Jonah Jameson (the newspaper boss) and his famous “Get me pictures of Spider-Man!” this movie is also host to the ‘famous’ upside-down Spider-Man kiss. This is also parodied in Weird Al’s song Ode to A Superhero.

The most important part of this movie is the very short and very easily missed Stan Lee cameo where he pulls a kid to safety when the Goblin is attacking downtown during the big festival. It is the first appearance of Stan Lee in a Marvel movie.

Still no post credits scene though…

Posted in Health/Fitness

End of Summer Update- Fitness

This past month and a half has boosted my fitness significantly more than the rest of the Summer I believe. Running I have not been keeping up with, that part was better at the beginning of Summer. However, once I figure out my schedule for this semester I do plan on running everyday. My martial arts has significantly improved this Summer. I have been going to a lesson twice a day if possible. I have the first three Karate kata’s memorized and I also plan on testing for my blue belt in Jiu Jitsu in October. Outside of martial arts, I have been regularly improving my push-ups and sit-ups as well as my flexibility. My martial arts gym has added a Yoga class that I have started to attend. Over the school year I plan on regularly improving my squats and Karate kicks as well. A set of foam nun-chucks allows me to get a melee weapon practice without the fear of injuring myself, others, or things in my house.