Superbowl XLV + Jekyll and Hyde

What a night last night!

My whole family spent from about 6:30 to 10:15 watching the Superbowl from beginning to end (National Anthem to Post-Game show), PLUS all the commercials! There were snacks and munchies, most were crunchy. Potato chips, vegetables and dips. (Hey, I made a mini-poem ^_^ )

As to which team I was rooting for (Pitsburgh Steelers VS. Green Bay Packers), I'll have to say that I was rooting for both at the same time. I cheered whenever one team made a touchdown, and I groaned whenever somebody missed a catch. I'm happy that the Packers won, but I'm also a little sympathetic for the Steelers. Still, the best team really did win, Packers-Steelers, 31-25.

The commercials during the Superbowl were fun to watch. Some were clever, some were waaay over-the-top, some were cute, and some were just plain weird. My favorite ads were the ones with cars, because they're the coolest in my opinion. Remember the talking cars chatting about the review site Cars.com? Recall the Volkswagen spot with an actual beetle racing past CGI insects? Does Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" commercial ring a bell?

Anyway, I think that's quite enough about football and commercials for one post.

The other thing I wanted to write about in this post is the fact that earlier today I finished a really great book!
It is the timeless classic, "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. One day a week or so ago I saw it on the fiction-shelf of our local library and I thought to myself, "Wow, I know this story, but I've never actually read it before." Much like Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" is simply one of those widely known stories that most people can summarize for you without having read the book itself. There have been quite a few movie adaptations of this story (one of the more famous versions being "The Nutty Professor"), and just the names Jekyll and Hyde evoke familiar mental images of mad science and split-personality disorders.

Reading the actual book was an interesting experience for me. At first the story starts off from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll's lawyer and good friend, Mr. Utterson. In this way the reader observes whatever Mr. Utterson is observing, and starts out just as curious as he is about the strange and frequent disappearances of Henry Jekyll, and the sudden appearance of the unsavory character Edward Hyde. As the story progresses, Mr. Utterson gathers information from Dr. Jekyll's colleagues and servants, and also receives strange letters from Jekyll himself. In the end, he catches Mr. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll's laboratory just as Hyde commits suicide, and he reads a full confession from Jekyll about what he's been up to. The confession is then written from Jekyll's point of view, and in my opinion it's the best part of the whole story.

Robert Louis Stevenson's writing style is so unique in that he knows how to paint compelling images in the reader's mind of the setting (foggy 19th century London), the characters, and what happens to them. He seems to use just the right words for just the right situations, and the beginning and middle build up the suspense pretty well. The language is a bit old-fashioned and formal for some folk, but if you're patient for the first couple chapters, I think you're in for a good literary treat. "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde": a classic novel that I recommend for those who know the story but never read the book.


Progress Report: New Years' Resolutions

One month of 2011 down, eleven more to go. 1/12 of the year is finito, over, kaput, spent, yesterday's news. But you all knew that already, didn't you?

I'm not one who likes to be a sheep; I don't follow the crowd automatically, do what everybody else is doing while they're doing it. If my friends decide to blog about their New Year's Resolutions, I think, "Hey, just because they want to let the world know about their goals for 2011 doesn't mean I have to." No sir. I'm more likely to be the one who says, "Wait for me, fellow sheep! I'm coming, just wait up!" I, more often than not, follow the crowd on my own terms.

With that said, here are the resolutions that I have made for myself this year:...
  • No sweets for the month of January.
    • This means no cakes, pies, candy, cookies, or ice-cream (except for the home-made non-sugary kind).
  • Draw in my Donald Duck notebook and write something everyday.
    • Doodles, poetry, short-story ideas, movie reviews, sketches, just anything creative that involves a pen/pencil.
  • Finish Toastmaster Speeches 8, 9, and 10
    • In my basic "Competent Communicator" manual

...and here is how well I've been keeping to them:
  • No sweets for the month of January.
    • I almost kept this resolution for the whole month, until the Toastmaster's Officer Training event in Boca Raton on Jan. 25th. Those darn Danish pastries! Ah well. This was just an exercise to test my will-power, and now that January is over I think I passed my self-inflicted test of endurance quite well.
  • Draw in my Donald Duck notebook and write something everyday.
    • Alas, this resolution I haven't kept as well as I wanted to. There have been days where I did not draw a single smiley-face or write a single sentence, but I can say with confidence that the days that I did do something creative outweigh those days that I didn't. Check out the drawings I did this month on my Art Blog here
  • Finish Toastmaster Speeches 8, 9, and 10.
    • I didn't deliver any speeches this month, but that's okay, because this resolution is for 6 months, until June 31st. I'm going for 3 speeches in 6 months, 5 months now, so I've still got plenty of time. In other news, our club is having a couple of contests in the coming weeks, which I'm helping to organize.
Now that January's over, I think it would be a good idea to renew my resolutions with some all-new goals that I'll be more likely to keep this year:
  • Deliver my 8th speech this month and blog about it afterwards.
  • Write reviews for movies I watch in February and put them up as blog-posts
  • Put at least 10 new drawings up on my Art Blog
  • Read 3 new books and review those on my blog
  • Blog, blog, blog!!!
This month, my goals are all about blogging. I think that if I can write online more often about the things I'm interested in and what I'm doing during this period in time, the better I'll be for it. At the very least I want to break my blogging record for last year (in Feb. 2010, only 1 post did I write).

See you later!