Sunday 25th October 2009

my ill-informed wheel of time predictions

[pre-script: predictions are not spoilers, unless they turn out to be right. so, quasi-spoiler maybe-warning?]

so i'm rereading the wheel of time series in rabid, salivating anticipation of the release of book the twelfth. some things are falling into place and my overactive imagination is reeling with the possibilities, the most interesting of which i shall detail for you:

  • verin, you perfect enigma—my explanation for her bizarre behavior is that she has visited the twisted door ter'angreal in tear (fitting for her being brown ajah), and gotten some clue for victory from the aelfinn, and she's working to bring it about; since she's the only one with the answer, her behavior appears to the reader to be secretive or self-serving or contradictory. she's good, just sneaky and duplicitous out of necessity. also, she is (as far as we know) the only one who knows where the horn of valere is (anyone remember the horn?), which may be the root cause of this. the saying it's time to roll the dice, which she got from her father and which mat uses extensively, is what got me thinking on this path.
  • elayne will be at the center of a big cease-fire between the seanchan, the borderlands, and the aiel (rand's answer from the aelfinn). this is the explanation of elaida's foretelling that the royal line of andor will be the key to victory in the last battle.
  • siuan will feel the distinctive tingling that signifies moiraine's channeling—that's how she will learn that mat and gang have freed her from the tower of ghenjei. this latter will happen very soon (the story line will begin in book 12, i'm certain), though how soon siuan and moiraine hook up, who knows.
  • also related to moiraine's return: she gives thom the names of the aes sedai who gentled his nephew owyn, and one of them will be elaida. thom has a rich history of offing leaders who affront him in some way (taringail and galldrian), so it isn't difficult to see where this one is going. the 'one small thing' moiraine knows about her future is that she and thom eventually marry—they will at the series' end, i think. they have a son and name him owyn.
  • slayer kills nynaeve in tel'aran'rhiod, and in an attempt to avenge her, lan fights and is also killed by slayer. either lan kills slayer also, or perrin does later.
  • rand dies (everyone sees it coming), but it won't be exactly death the way we all think of it. it'll happen at shayol ghul fighting padan fain, and they'll kill each other, and i like three scenarios for rand's not-quite-death:

    1. he hangs out a while in tel'aran'rhiod, either because he has become bound to the horn, or by some other egwene/elayne/nynaeve dreamwalking voodoo. he's called back later when mat sounds the horn.

    2. he actually dies, and in this option, it's true physical death. death as the aelfinn see it might be fundamentally different; living in the 'to live, you must die' sense might mean his thread in the pattern still exists, and will later be reborn (just as he is lews therin reborn); or he's healed by nynaeve and everyone is shocked because omg.

    3. there's an interesting theme of threes with rand's character—his actions fall into distinct 'categories' of rand al'thor, lews therin, and 'the dragon' persona—corresponding respectively to the naive shepherd, the formidable madman, and the balanced one rand needs to be. in this one, somehow just the rand al'thor and the lews therin partitions of rand's existence die, but the part called the dragon survives long enough to travel to tar valon (recall the funeral bier viewing) to be healed and sent back into the fray. also: if this is what happens, min and aviendha will also die (they correspond to the rand and lews therin slices respectively)

    i'm currently thinking #3 is closest to how it'll be, but i'm really shooting in the dark here.

  • fain is bad. also, i think some of the forsaken may be loose.

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Sunday 14th June 2009

self-sacrifice

the idea of using an internet-enabled device to list and sell itself on ebay seems really sad to me. do you think your iphone or whatever is aware at some level of the depth of your betrayal? i do, and this is how it makes me feel.


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Sunday 1st February 2009

circular bowl

1. the super bowl draws millions of television viewers worldwide each year
2. its production is lavish in the extreme, its commercials titillating and overpriced, and everything surrounding it is hyped ad nauseum

1 because 2; 2 because 1. thank a marketer near you.


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Sunday 8th October 2006

this is why we can't have nice things

i've always thought of myself as a compassionate guy; the correct word, however, is sucker.


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Sunday 30th October 2005

bad albums: a retrospective

there's no easy way to jump into this one. this is why, most nights, i cry myself to sleep.


bad album #1: mariah carey
1. mariah carey - music box.
not so much bad as creepy, and exacerbated by the accompanying music videos.


bad album #2: korn
2. korn - (self-titled).
at some point in their lives, each adolescent male will begin to despise life. these guys made it big by composing the soundtrack. almost as creepy as #1.


bad album #3: ace of base
3. ace of base - the sign.
said to be a favorite of osama bin laden.


bad album #4: ace of base
4. ace of base - the bridge.
if my satanic baby-eating neighbors were to make an album, it would sound like this, only less evil. in all truth i only own this one because i thought i was returning the one above.


bad album #5: tlc
5. tlc - crazy sexy cool.
when word got out that i owned this one, i got beat up. by my mom.


bad album #6: arrested development
6. arrested development - 3 years 5 months & 2 days in the life of…
apparently in a past life i was a black man from the south who had to deal with racist oppression and homelessness, and i bought an urban r&b rap album to figure out what that might mean. not recommended for children under the age of 200.


redemption! homestar runner.
7. homestarrunner.com - strong bad coaster.
there is more musical worth in this unplayable piece of hard cardboard than in everything above. and so i find redemption.


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Tuesday 4th October 2005

manual

congratulations! you are now the proud owner of your very own matt waters. since this is probably your first experience with matt waters, the makers have provided you with a list of things you can do and avoid in order to maximize your enjoyment with matt waters.

for best results, converse with matt waters using facts and linear ideas. matt waters is powered by a neural net cortical processor, which learns at an optimal rate when offered specific, concrete notions. when conversing, avoid shouting, labelling, unsound arguments, and jumping to conclusions. never physically or verbally attack matt waters, as this will cause matt waters to grow agitated and irreversibly introverted and may lead to permanent isolated loss of rational function.

treat matt waters with utmost care and love. matt waters is designed to act rationally and will do so whenever possible in every situation, but possesses a residual amount of emotion as well. matt waters has been painstakingly hardened against emotional outbursts of all sorts and has been trained to turn such emotional reactivity inward for additional processing. do not mistake matt waters' silence for lack of caring—suggestions to this effect will not be met positively.

allow matt waters to make jokes.

if you elect to use matt waters in a romantic fashion, allow matt waters ample time to understand his role in this respect, and understand that certain related circumstances may cause significant, widespread loss of rational function. once matt waters' role is established and understood, squeeze matt waters at every opportunity.

do not drop matt waters. matt waters contains certain very fragile components, and though encased in specialized protective tissue, excessive forces may damage vital elements of matt waters.

understand that matt waters will attempt to bring order to immediate surroundings in a very peculiar fashion; it is recommended that matt waters be allowed to do so without obstruction, as this leads to increased happiness and productivity for matt waters.

allow matt waters ample access to media of all sorts (including popular music, film, and literature; electronic games; the internet; television and radio; etc.). a sense of connectedness with the world is crucially important to the well-being of matt waters.

never force matt waters to interact with strangers.

wrap matt waters daily in sensible clothing befitting the weather, without concerning matt waters with popular fashion. never wrap matt waters in clothing that advocates any particular sports organization—matt waters does not contain programming to allow him to fully understand sporting activity. do not pull matt waters' trousers up farther than matt waters desires.

insert high-quality, highly nutritional food into matt waters; however, occasionally allow matt waters to ingest substances that have little nutritional value, such as sweets, pizza, or certain illicit beverages. if matt waters appears to be ingesting alarming amounts of any of these, disallow the activity immediately.

if matt waters' temperature rises significantly above nominal 98.6°f, place matt waters in a darkened room and provide matt waters with water, vitamins, aspirin, books, and warm blankets until temperature returns to normal.

when powering down matt waters, allow at least an hour for matt waters to complete routine cortical processor maintenance operations before entering a hibernation state. hibernation periods should last at least seven hours nightly. each morning, allow at least an hour for matt waters to power up all components before expecting optimal performance.


with proper care and upkeep, you can expect many decades of mutually beneficial rational interaction with matt waters. thank you for purchasing matt waters. enjoy matt waters responsibly.


the matt waters name, along with matt waters' genome and programming are copyright© 1981-20xx the makers. all rights reserved


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Tuesday 2nd August 2005

sunday bloody sunday

what is the worst day of the week? survey says sunday.

check that link out. it's a really interesting and concise read into why sundays are so consistently awful. it made me consciously think about it for the first time. i particularly liked the bit about why so-and-so likes thursday best: 'because then he can still anticipate the weekend before the clock has started running on it.' for me, the best part about this weekend's manly camping trip will be the car ride up: music, friends, the surety of freedom and charred food and cameraderie.

perhaps this is why i start so many projects but finish so few of them. after all, who wants to go on with something after it loses its luster and gets difficult? i hope this doesn't mean i'm becoming an idealist in my old age.


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