Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Archive for January, 2010

An Avatar Postmortem: The Continuing Life of Jake Sulley

Posted by jaystile on January 17, 2010

I went and watched Avatar in 3D with my buddy. It was a visually splendid movie and I enjoyed it. I have to recommend not drinking the ‘small’ movie theater Coke because you’re not going to last until the end. At the end of the movie Jake Sulley has all kinds of life fulfillment. My question is, will he still feel that way in 10-20 years?

I’ve been having the ‘life fulfillment question’ conversation with many of my male friends. Many people don’t realize this but as men (as with women, but this is from me and my friends point of view) get older our choices become more limited. We graduate high school and our options are limitless. We then have to make a choice: college or work? Well, if you want to make a reasonable amount money working for someone else you need a degree. Starting college all your options are still wide open. You could be a doctor, lawyer, scientist, professor. You choose your degree and your field of expertise becomes much more limited and so do your job options. During college and early work years you’ll see/date/romance many women. You find your special someone (i.e. someone who puts up with your bullshit) a marriage is scheduled for the future. Your options have just become more limited. Now as a family you decide to put down roots and purchase a home. It’s a very exciting time, until you realize you now have golden handcuffs. Once again, you are limited. Limited by the places you can go. There will be no new apartments or switching states for a different job. Now you are hoping that your employer keeps you employed so that you can afford to keep your house. Chances are you’ll decide to have a family, because there is no one going back in your family tree that decided to ‘opt out’. Those who do ‘opt out’ don’t spread the compelling need to not-procreate.

In my point of view, once you have children you are now locked in. You are on autopilot until until the offspring are independent. Don’t lose your job because you don’t want to have to find a new job, sell the house, switch schools. There is a lot of pressure to keep the status quo. Now, back to Jake Sulley, he managed to make every choice and limit his options in about 3 months! It was a very exciting time. He chose a job (hunter), a mate (Neytiri), and a place to live. Yes, he had a great purpose and rescues the world. After they establish a new home and have kids, what does he do? Well, he goes out and hunts and then comes back home and what? What new choices does Jake Sulley get to make? He too is on autopilot until James Cameron comes up with a new adventure for him.

There should be a clear distinction between my questions and the choices I’ve made. Like most men, I made choices and I would make them again. My choices have been the correct ones. I enjoy the work that I do. I love my wife. My home is very nice. My children are awesome. The question is how does one avoid the monotony of maintaining the status quo for the good of the family? I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m working on it. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. I know it has something to do with goals and adventures in our free time (and nothing to do with the computer or television). The things I remember the most are the scenery during the ‘Elephant Rock Ride’ and trails I’ve hiked and the lobsters we steamed. I heard that they are already planning a sequel to Avatar, we’ll see what kind of life is in store for Jake Sulley.


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Book Review: My Life in France by Julia Child

Posted by jaystile on January 7, 2010

‘My Life in France’ by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme is an autobiography of Julia Child and her experiences in France. All in all, this was a pleasant story. If you’re not familiar with Julia Child, she was the hostess of ‘The French Chef’ on PBS for many years and is the co-author of ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’. My family loves food and we love Julia Child. This story recounts many experiences in France with her husband Paul as she shares food with friends, family, and other people who love food.

This book really tries to bring home all the things that are wonderful about food & friends. It makes me just want to cook and share with everyone. I already do that quite a bit, but this just makes me want to do it more. So if you love Julia Child or if you love cooking go ahead and read this book. It’s a short read at 300 easy pages and worth the time. Bon Appetit.

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