the passenger seat

no such thing?

The movie Donnie Darko has been sitting on my hard drive for a while but for some reason, even though I have been meaning to, have never been in the mood to watch it. Well, tonight I finally did and it blew me away. It’s a psychological thriller that mixes in ideas of time travel and alternate dimensions, and while this may seem weird or cheesy or… actually, weird is the operative word. But weird in a good way. In comparison to the last psychological thriller I watched, The Shining, this one didn’t have moments that left me scratching my head and thinking ‘what the hell just happened and why?’ or an ending that made me ask ‘what was the point of all of that?’ Rather, the movie progressed well and made me want more and the ending was surprisingly cathartic, albeit with some questions still to be answered. Of course, I carried out the mandatory check of the movie’s Wikipedia page that has become so common following puzzling films, and to my surprise the answers were all there, by none other than the director himself, a rarity with films of this genre. The film did have its scary moments – those jolting, ‘jump off your seat’ events that are a hallmark of the horror and thriller genre – but these images were repeated and eventually became understood as integral to the story. Unlike the continued appearance of the twins in The Shining (for the few that have watched it) that, to me, were seemingly used only for shock value (until I read the Wiki), the periodic appearance of the frightening image of ‘Frank’ in this movie soon became exciting rather than shocking. Overall, I’d definitely recommend it. If you’re a fan of thrillers or psychological films and you haven’t watched it, it should be the next movie on your ‘to watch’ list. Even if you can only handle slight horror, this movie shouldn’t be too frightening. And anyway, the catharsis is enough to assuage all fears at the conclusion of the film.

A weird coincidence that happened while watching this film was when Milo pointed me to an image post on his blog about ‘lucid dreaming’ and how to achieve it. Donnie Darko was based around ideas of alternate dimensions and ‘lucid dreaming’ can have the effect of the dreamer experiencing an out-of-body experience or the illusion that they are in an alternate dimension. In a nutshell, a ‘lucid dream’ is one where the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate or control the dream. This prompted me to think about my own dreaming experiences and in fact most of the dreams I have (or can remember) are lucid to an extent (read about one of these two posts down). After reading the Wikipedia page on the topic, I think I will definitely try this technique one day soon and see where I can go with it. I already know that I am able to lucidly dream (as many people are), so it shouldn’t be too hard I hope. It should be fun, and I’ll be sure to recount my experiences here.

How fascinating are dreams and how awe-some (and I mean that in the literal definition of the word, not the colloquial sense) is the human brain? The fact that our brain is able to subconsciously conjure up such imagery is amazing. What the hell goes on in there that allows this to happen? Why hello there, all you Psychology students.

One thing that occurred to me when investigating lucid dreaming was the thought experiments carried out by Einstein to test his theory of special relativity (which we learnt in HSC Physics last year). Could lucid dreaming be used as a method to discard certain rules of materiality while maintaining physical laws (though part of the point and fun of lucid dreaming is the fact that physical laws need not exist) to test these theories or to come up with new ones? Food for thought…

And on that very philosophical note, I will end this blog here. To anyone who I haven’t seen in a while or don’t see/talk to regularly (which, sadly, is a lot of people), I hope you’re all doing well, and to everyone else, as always, take care.


different names for the same thing

Once again I’m blogging at a time that’s not the said posting time above. In fact, it’s well past that time; it’s 12:53 and I am really wasted. So, this will be a relatively short blog due to my current state of mind and the fact that I’ve found very few things that are worth blogging about lately.

Actually, if I stayed up and began this blog in an hours time it’d probably be really great. Isn’t it weird how that works? There’s always a certain point in the night when somehow all previous fatigue disappears to be replaced by a somewhat euphoric and receptive mood. For me, my day usually runs in a cycle of tiredness to alertness. Usually (on a school day), I begin the day with a horrible mood. Anyone who’s ever seen me in the mornings (my family) will know that I am definitely not a morning person. If my mum or brother try to talk to me in the mornings, it’s usually returned with “Mmm…” or silence. Following this tired stage is my alertness for the day. I’m usually fully awake by period two, and this goes on during the day until I get home. When I first arrive home I sometimes feel kind of tired, and I eat and just do nothing until about 5pm when I’ll start doing work or things like that. I stay good until around midnight when it should be time for me to sleep. Like now. At this point I’m really tired and in need of sleep. Now, on those rare nights I stay up later than 2am or during sleepovers, I begin to shift into the aforementioned euphoria. From past experiences, it has kicked in at around 3am. At sleepovers when I have pulled all-nighters, I am usually in this stage until around 7am when I get completely and utterly tired and I actually do sleep. Thankfully, I only reach the latter stage on very rare occasions.

Wow, that was weird. I think my brain flows a little bit better at night. By now I can’t even remember what I wrote in the last paragraph. I’ll probably have to read it again tomorrow.

Anyway, the main point of this blog was to showcase an artist I found today, named Justin Taylor (Belle, you will recognise the name, but it’s not the guitar one). His style is a kind of realism with some elements of impressionism, often using bright colours; which I really like (as mentioned in my previous blog, lack of color). Almost all his works are of the human figure, and his usual medium is oil on canvas or panel. A few of my favourite artworks of his are below, and you can check out his gallery on his website, linked above, for a larger view.

Coincidentally, Justin Taylor is also the name of a guitarist and songwriter introduced to me by Belle in our free period today. When I got home and looked him up on YouTube, I realised that I had already heard some of his songs, as I’ve been subscribed to the channel for CANdYRAT Records, a label that supports talented acoustic guitarist such as Justin Taylor. Below is the song Belle showed me today, called “Cheesy Little Love Song”.

And that is all for tonight’s blog. Goodnight, everyone.

PS. The title of this blog is from the album Plans.

PPS. Maybe it wasn’t that short after all.