Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tired and Lost...

Like the title says, right now I'm feeling tired and lost. I've been living more or less day to day for so long that I'm not sure how I manage to keep going at all.  I've got visions of the future I want for myself, but I'm not entirely sure it's possible for me to get there. I miss having my friends around me, I miss having a significant other. I miss my son. I also miss that part of my soul that I took for granted: the creative spark that let me write stories like a mad man.

I can still write very well, and I believe I can come up with ingenious story ideas with plots and subplots that flow so well it's hard to believe I'm making them up as I go along, but I fear that I've lost the ability to just put those ideas on paper, weaving them as they come out. It's not just because I'm out of practice, there was just a fire that I've lost some where along the way to where I am now...

Ironically, the creative talent that I fear I've lost has been replaced by programming logic I wouldn't mind losing... I've been surviving on my talents with computers for more than 10 years now, but they've never really lead me to a successful career. Just when I thought I had settled into a company I could stay with forever, Be Incorporated, they went and died on me. So I found myself floating from company to company between years of unemployment, and yet here I am working on a project that might help pay my bills if I'm lucky.

As I mentioned on my development web site, Bad Luck Software, I'm working on an Android application that will allow people to enter the price of gas at a local gas station. Yeah, that's real genius right? Well, the good part, the part that I hope people will like, is that as people enter gas prices everywhere, hopefully on a daily basis, people will be able to find the lowest gas prices in their area. And maybe, just maybe, if they find my little app useful enough, they'll donate a few dollars to support my work. Maybe.

The app is nearly done... I'm in the process of trying to link the app to the central database, and then I have a few more items to polish up. After that, I have the not so insignificant task of convincing people to use it without pre-existing data. At the moment, I have no fucking idea how I'm going to do that when I can't even get my friends and family to acknowledge that they have Android phones so they could possibly help me out... I don't want to pester anyone into using something to help me (and others) out, but I don't think I have any other choice...

I'm really tired of trying to make a better life for myself only to fail. I'm tired of being alone. I'm tired of bad shit happening to me. But I'm praying and hoping that I'm on God's path, and that on this path I'll find that place I'm supposed to be so I won't be lost any more.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Android Beta Testers & Early Adopters Needed!

Hi folks! Since I'm actually doing something for a change, I thought I'd invite you to do it with me... Wait, that doesn't sound right... Over the weekend, I had a brainstorm on an app for Android based smart phones, and I've gotten it mostly done already. Soon I'll need testing done on it, by other people than myself, to try to find bugs, improve the features and ideas in the app, and all around make it better.

If you are interested in helping out and have an Android 1.6 or higher based smart phone, you can find more information at my main development web site.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

K-PAX and Me

It's not a new movie, but K-Pax is one of my favorites. In so many ways, the film represents so many things that life is made of, and I can only imagine that the book is similarly filled. It touches on the mysteries of the universe, of life, love, tragedy, and the pseudo sciences of mental health. Yes, I called psychiatry and psychology pseudo science despite the advances of both in the last century simply because there is no magic cure all for any mental illness; each case is more like an artwork that needs to be balanced, which is sometimes impossible, other times impossibly simple.

Any way, from an acting perspective, both Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges are favorite actors of mine from earlier works. The first performance of Spacey's that I can recall being extremely impressed with was from the Usual Suspects. For those of you not familiar with U.S., I highly recommend watching it. Everyone else knows why I love the film, and in particular why I love Spacey's role.  Enough said. Bridges goes back further with me, however.  I first saw and was impressed by Bridges in Starman. Yes, it's another sci-fi flick, this time with Bridges playing an alien that created a human body from DNA taken from a hair sample of a grieving widow. Perhaps it was Bridge's ability to play a complete innocent in that film that links me to his character in K-PAX, a know it all psychiatrist that is learning to be human from someone claiming to be an alien.

I find the little details of this movie fascinating; piecing together the plot points and hints to this story is rewarding. You can easily make the case that Prot, Spacey's character, is merely insane, but much of what he does and says is makes his claims equally plausible. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film is the complete lack of special effects: it's a science fiction thinker rather than thriller.It tugs at your heart and mind rather than blowing you away with dazzling 3D effects. K-PAX, in my mind, will forever be a better science fiction film than Avatar was, despite the huge difference in production costs. Hell, I'd go as far as to say it's a far better film period. (I'm not ragging on Avatar, it was nice, but it wasn't what everyone hyped it up to be.)

Even the tragic parts of the film, the murder of Robert Porter's family, touches you, as you feel the anger, sorrow, loss and despair that he did. You fully understand his loss of will to live as he wanders to the river behind his home to die.

Then the film turns around and offers hope: though Prot leaves, he seems to have taken Bess along with him. The psych ward where they've been living during the film is seemingly inescapable, so how could any one leave? Yet Bess is certainly gone, while Prot leaves behind the body of Robert Porter to be cared for by Bridge's character. That's in addition to help Prot has given to a number of patients, allowing some to go free into the world again after years of confinement.

K-PAX touches me emotionally, and despite my awareness of how and why it's doing it, it manages to do it nonetheless. That's what a good movie or story should do, and I wish there were more films like it.