My Name Is Tyson, and I’m Germaphobic

Alright, well it’s actually called Mysophobia, but I figured more folks would recognize it better if I called it Germaphobia!

I will admit though, I am a bit afraid of germs and bacteria. Kinda odd especially since I was all into making E. Coli cultures today in the microbiology lab. But I like having clean hands, and not getting sick! Also, I’m working towards applying to the only level 4 lab in Canada, and one of fourteen in the world. That’s right, this incredibly accident prone guy might be working with some of the most dangerous biochemical substances in the history of mankind!

The other night, I watched that movie Contagion, which really doesn’t help this little bit of a fear at all. It’s all about the spread of a super-virus that’s taking millions of people’s lives. It uses a lot of camera angles and imagery to show just how easily disease can spread throughout the world, causing an epidemic. While I was watching the movie, I was chowing down on my popcorn and instantly thought that someone had to touch it at some point…

Also, sometime during the movie, they said that a person touches their face up to 3000 times a day. If its true, that’s an incredible and scary amount that I really have difficulty fathoming. My face must be absolutely filthy by the end of the day really. But I found the movie very interesting as well; especially how it punched in the reality that a super virus is actually very possible. Especially with some of the stuff I have been learning in my advanced microbiology classes. For example, in the entire worlds stockpile, we have only been able to find a medium to grow/reproduce 0.1% of all bacteria.

I don’t really like to think about it all too much, it just kinda shows how weak the human race really could be, and everything I learn in my classes don’t really help that viewpoint at all.

Neither does Contagion!

In my biochemistry class, we need to find a topic for our scientific research essay. It’s not due until mid-November, but it’s still imperative to work on it at a constant basis until then. I’m not sure what to choose for a topic though. It needs to be biochemistry related and very recent research, so I probably just need to do some research on recent findings. Maybe I’ll ask a biochemist too, I have a friend working at the University of Calgary in Biochemistry. Unless anyone has any suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated!

Since I’m talking about science things, I might as well continue along that subject line. Yesterday I got the new issues of Science Illustrated and Popular Science to help me look for a possible topic. But I actually enjoy reading them, a lot of the articles are extremely interesting and have some pretty insane information and experiments that have been going on. There’s actually a pretty inspirational story in Popular Science about a college student that was paraplegic, but didn’t want to graduate in his wheelchair. So a group of student engineers at U.C. Berkeley built him a machine that allowed him to walk across the stage and get his diploma. Basically he’s considered a cyborg since the exoskeleton they installed into him is a combination of his flesh and this machine. I would recommend to read the entire issue though if you have the time, its apparemtly a special education issue.

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” – George Bernard Shaw

Tyson Trepidations

I’m a Scientist! Your a Scientist! Science!

“Sometimes I do.”

 

I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd and interested in that subject matter, so of course on the weekend I went and saw The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. I’ll try not to give anything away, but you’d think a movie like that would make me be a little less interested in science. It was actually the opposite effect for me, it made me even more interested in science and just researching things in general.

As far as the movie goes though, I really enjoyed it! Some parts were a little farfetched to me, but otherwise I did enjoy it quite a lot. Not to mention it had some really cool eye candy too in some parts, which is always appreciated.

With all that said, the new school year is under four weeks away already, so I need to start shopping for a few school supplies. I gotta remember to buy paper early too, last year I went to buy some the same week school started and everywhere was completely sold out of paper! So maybe next week I’ll do that instead. I already got some new reading material, I ordered an old version of “Electronic Life” by Michael Crichton on Amazon and finally got Catch-22 along with Get Laid or Die Trying.

Thompson Rivers University Update

I already have my courses for next year too, I signed for them all the way back in June, and for the most part, I have some really interesting sounding ones. The most noteworthy ones are my Cell Physiology class, which seems to have a lot of wicked cool subject matter, Biochemistry, Ancient Philosophy (also my last elective credits I need, WHOOT), microbiology, genetics, and the evolution and ecology of land plants (featuring a wicked multi-day hike field trip). The other classes that I’m not looking forward for are both in the winter semester, Philosophy of Science, which will be interesting reading Galileo and such but I feel as though there will a tonne of essays. The other one would be Calculus Two. I struggle with math way more than I should have to…

Oh! My tap dance lessons start at the same time as well, so that’s pretty exciting. I just need to go and pick up my shoes basically. Plus I was contacted by the regional organizer for Scouts Canada, and he somehow heard of my name and gave me a call to ask if they could use my expertise as a leader this year. I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet because I think I’m going to have a busy year, but it should be fun if I can.

Just a music update from my iTunes, I’m really liking Alyssa Reid’s, Alone Again (Encore Seule) avec Dice B. I’m loving the French rapping and singing. Other good mentions are Nick Carter and Britton “Briddy” Shaw’s, Burning Up and Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia.

 

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity” – Ellen Par

 

Tyson Trepidations.

The Spy With The Golden Thunderballs

I’m still slowly getting through Carte Blanche; the most recent of Bond book as written by Jeffrey Deaver. I’m only managing to read a couple chapters per day, but that’s alright, just makes the enjoyment last a little longer.

Actually, like a lot of people, I think James Bond is pretty wicked awesome! I love all of the Bond films and the character in general is so suave and brilliant, makes me want to get into the espionage business.

Back in the days of highschool though, I took French all the way until I graduated. I actually really enjoyed the class and wanted to learn as much French as I could since its Canada’s other official language. Of course, at my school we didn’t really have a real French teacher, so we didn’t get taught very well. That’s something that really stumped me when I got into grade twelve because my teacher really knew her French and made us speak it only. It was good, but quite the challenge considering the poor French education that I had received previously. It was mostly fun though because it was a video conferencing class, and the only students from my school there were just my best friend, Steve, and I. So we had a blast singing songs and just going crazy.

When we were in grade eleven, we had this skit assignment. We were to make a skit and perform it in French in front of everyone, as well as the english version too just for fun. Of course since Steve and I were partners, we wanted to do something different from everyone else. We were always like that and extremely creative. So as a change, we decided to turn it into a film rather than a skit. So we made our script during the class time, then when we got home, we filmed the whole thing. Everyone in the class really seemed to enjoy the films a lot too, so we were a hit. Actually, after that, it seemed like everyone in our entire had decided to go on YouTube and watched our video. Everyone seemed to know about it, even the kids we had never talked to before had started asking us about it. We didn’t mind though of course.

That film was a James Bond parody if you must, featuring my best friend as James Bond and myself as the evil scientist. We decided to make the title and amalgamation of James Bond titles and called it: “James Bond: The Spy With The Golden Thunderballs”.

After that year, we had quite an urge to make another movie. Except this time with more freedom for our creativity that the French class didn’t allow us to explore. So we went ahead and created a rough script, but mostly with improv. It was just basically an outline of our actions and a couple lines that we thought we needed to add. That one we decided to start as a new series, since the first was basically all tied up. Plus we wanted something a tad more exciting. So we ended up developing “I Saw Bond’s Bats: The Love That Was Puzzled”. In the short, it was a love story between James Bond and BatShell (A Batman type character, but a girl), being tormented by Jigsaw from the Saw films.

Soon after that one, we decided to make a third film as a sequel to the second. We made more action and had a larger cast of characters as well, but still following the original storyline. This sequel we called, “I Saw Bond’s Bats… Again: The Jigsaw Comes Together”. I’ll leave it at that.

At the end of that third film there’s a bit of cliffhanger that we had intended upon finishing, but never really got around to it. I actually hope that we do in order to conclude the series. Maybe I should look into that… We even have a final script too.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill

Tyson Trepidations.

Dick Van Dyke: Decades of Entertainment

A few years ago, I told Esquire magazine that the Buddhists boiled it down to the essentials. They said you need three things in life: Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. The message does not get any clearer.  – Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business (a memoir)

 

Friday night, just before seeing the final Harry Potter, I bought myself a hardcover copy of Dick Van Dyke’s memoir called, “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business”. I first noticed his memoir when I was on my roadtrip in May, but I thought I better not buy it since mostly everything was being put on my credit card already. So I waited until I knew I could afford such things. I didn’t get to start the book on that Friday though, I got home somewhere after one in the morning, therefore needed to get some shut eye. But after reading a bit each night, I just finished it no more than fifteen minutes ago.

Before I start talking about what I thought of Dick’s memoir, I thought I should mention the reason I wanted to buy it in the first place. Basically I know Dick Van Dyke has been an inspiration to a lot of people over the many decades he has spent entertaining. He influenced my parents and grandparents with his classic shows and movies, as well as myself being yet another generation ahead. But with that said, there are still a few other celebrities that withstand the test of time. What really draws me to Dick Van Dyke though is his honesty, humbleness and the values he has always portrayed in his life, as well as his films and shows. Not only that, but he has the best type of comedy in my opinion. The clean, true, beautiful kind that gets a real laugh and creates memories that burn into your life forever.

His memoir is basically what you expect though. You learn about his early life, childhood, teen years, young adulthood and his climb into the show business. He talks about all the shows, movies and mentions a number of the specials he’s appeared in throughout the years, putting an emphasis on those which were most important to him and his career. It also shows that for a man in his mid-eighties, he’s still got it in him, and he’s still a kid at heart and in his soul.

Ultimately from about his life, views and thoughts, it instilled my fondness and respect for him even more. I know that when I have children, I want to share his work with them as well, and let them learn from him as many generations already have.

For anyone who know’s of Dick Van Dyke, I would most definitely suggest reading the book. You really hear a lot of great stories from his life and of the interactions he has had with family, personal problems, other celebrated figures and life in general. But there is a lot of reference to a lot of his work, so if your not familiar with it you may need to brush up a little bit first.

Happy reading to anyone that decides to read it. But for me, its time to start 007: Carte Blanche that I just got tonight.

 

“Hope is life’s essential nutrient, and love is what gives life meaning” – Dick Van Dyke

 

Tyson Trepidations.

Theatre and Music. A Perfect Mix.

Last night while I was in town with my mother to see the last Harry Potter, I went to the book store to kill some time.

I love book stores, if I didn’t have a good head with money, I could probably spend my whole pay cheque there! But I just limited myself to buying one book. I purchased Dick Van Dyke’s memior with a sub title that read, “My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business”.

I’m a huge fan of Dick Van Dyke, he was a musical star and created several amazing movies as well as starred in one incredible show entitled after him. To me, he’s a real inspiration for everything I do in life.

I think he’s what got me so interested in musical theatre, and musicals just in general too. Those have to be my favorite genre and every chance I get, I’ll go see one or the other. I especially like the older stuff, movies like Singing in the Rain, Westside Story and Holiday Inn. You really don’t see musicals like they had in those days anymore, especially with the huge musical stars like Dick Van Dyke, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire just to name a few.

Living here though, you don’t really see all too many musical theatre performances put on. But there are some that are locally done, and when they are, I love to see them. They do a pretty awesome job and get everything down perfectly. But if your missing those in your local area, the best advice I can give is to give them a try! Live theatre in general is a wonderful experience that everyone should share at least once.

Now don’t get me wrong neither, there are some pretty good newer musicals as well that appear on my list of favorites. Such movies like, Across the Universe and Moulin Rouge. But with that said, you can’t really compare them to the old stuff because they’re worlds different from each other.

Even though I can be caught singing and dancing all the time, I don’t really ever dream about making it on Broadway or anything, its more a love of watching the professionals work their charm. But when I have my career on the go, visiting Broadway and seeing many performances is definitely on the list of things to do. Although, I am kinda interested in taking tap dance lessons thanks to the wonders of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

Maybe I will.

“Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity” – Helen Schucman

Tyson Trepidations.

Stranded at The Drive-In, Branded a Fool.

Whenever I go to the drive-in, that song from Grease always strikes into my head:

Stranded at the drive-in,
Branded a fool.
What will they say,
Monday at school

As shocking as it is, I actually had a day off yesterday! So rather than wasting it, I decided to take my family to the Drive-In movie theatre. The closest Drive-in to us is the Starlight Drive-In located in Enderby, British Columbia, making it about 3 hours from where I live currently. The Enderby Drive-In actually has the largest screen in North America and featurees pretty good prices, playing two movies for $10 ($6 for children).

I really enjoy going to the Drive-In, its a different experience where your sitting in your car rather than in a crowded theatre. But it doesn’t just limit you to your car though, a lot of people bring chairs or blankets to lay out instead.

The sound comes through your own sound system on an FM frequency, therefore also giving you the ability to control the volume of the movies. I always love going when they have movies that interest me and the popcorn is quite amazing as well. I think if anyone ever has a chance to attend a Drive-in movie or need a good date idea, they should most definitely take the opportunity.

They do a great job at making a very relaxed and fun and old-time atmosphere at the Starlight Drive-In by playing old music from the 50’s and 60’s and having an olden times concession (with real and amazing popcorn too at a great price!). Usually the movies the pretty new, only a few weeks out of the theatres before they get reels and are presented in high quality projection. Before the movie starts, they run two previews of movies that are coming to the Starlight during the summer and play very old, black and white commercials for the concession. Plus can’t forget the old-style countdown for the movies to start.

The Starlight Drive-In is located right off the Vernon-Sicamous highway (97A) and just on the outskirts of Enderby (on the Vernon side of town). It usually opens up in mid-spring (once its warm enough) and only stays open for the weekends. Once June comes though, they stay open every day and are usually quite full, especially on the weekends. The staff all around is extremely friendly and help out to make sure the viewing experience goes great.

The only thing that is a tad bothersome though is there are a couple people that turn on their pesky headlights once in a while. It doesn’t interfere with the movie or anything, it can just be a tad annoying is all.

The two movies that were playing for us last night were Kung Fu Panda 2 and Super 8. I was pretty excited to see both after loving the first Kung Fu Panda plus JJ Abrams always seems to make crazy and intriguing movies that I can’t keep away from.

I Found Myself A Girlfriend At The Drive-In

I gotta say though, I was a little disappointed from Kung Fu Panda 2, it has its funny moments and was pretty cute as well, but I felt that the story wasn’t all too strong and that at some parts they may have tried a little too hard to get a laugh (especially with the fat panda jokes). Then after that, Super 8 was quite amazing. I enjoyed that movie a tonne. It was very interesting, action packed and had quite a good story intertwined within it as well. I was worried it was going to be like Cloverfield (also by JJ Abrams) since it was presented in the same manner with a mysterious creature. But it was far better filmed and blew away all my expectations. Again, its something that I would recommend everyone to see if they got the chance.

I think Drive-ins are a wonderful and “far out” experience though. If anyone gets a chance or has a hot date coming up, they should look to see if a Drive-In theatre is close enough to where they live and give it a try. Most people that do are usually quite impressed. For me, even though its 3 hours away and made me get home sometime close to 4 AM this morning, it’s always worth it.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – NLP Adage

Tyson Trepidations.

Zombies, Dinosaurs, A Girl, and My Recurring Dream

Over the last week and a half I have been having this one dream that’s always quite similar but a little different every time. What I mean is that the setting and events stay the same for the most part, but there are small changes and detail shifting within each dream. I’ll share the overall synopsis though and see what everybody else thinks.

 

It all started out in a small (but not too small), yet quaint and tight knit coastal community. By the looks of it, it could have passed as a secluded part of Hawaii or somewhere similar in the world. It was the type of of place where everyone in town knows me, are incredibly nice and there’s always this amazing street market going on, kinda like the ones you’d imagine seeing in the middle east (but with a coastal twist added).

It always appears to be a beautiful, warm and sunny summer day, that I always spent hanging out at a zoo with some friends. Sometimes I dream that I’m with two friends and sometimes with three. But as dreams go, it really wasn’t an ordinary zoo since it was devoted to reincarnating and keeping dinosaurs (Jurassic Park much?). Everything started out innocently enough too, we were just walking around, looking at the different exhibits and were having a wonderful time with lots of fun.

Suddenly, things started to turn for the worst.

For some reason, one of the dinosaurs managed to get out. Of course though, it had to be the king of all carnivores, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. At the moment that had happened, it didn’t pose an immediate threat though. The dinosaur was distracted chasing some poor (and probably underpaid) zookeeper for breakfast. So ultimately, the group of us decided to run for our SUV and get out of the area before anything happened to us. Or God forbid anymore dinosaurs escape.

I remember though, in the Jurassic Park movies when there was a Tyrannosaurus Rex around, the main character always advised everyone not to run. That probably would have been good advise, had Dr. Alan Grant have been in my dream because once we started running, the Tyrannosaurus immediately became interested in us and started its pursuit.

Luckily, as it usually is in small, tight knit communities, the doors weren’t locked on the SUV and it actually started how it was supposed to (Not like any cheesy, straight to DVD, cheap horror flicks). Everything occurring after that though was just like that off of a movie real.

One of my friends was driving, but I was riding shotgun. The giant Tyrannosaurus was getting incredibly close, but my friend was smart enough to step on the gas as fast as he could and get us moving away from the dino-zoo. Once on the road, heading towards town, he floored it. It wasn’t fast enough though, it only seemed like we were going the exact same speed that the huge carnivore was able to run.

But once reaching town from the short distance of the zoo, we were hit with our first roadblock. Literally.

The one road heading into town was blocked off for the towns street market. So in an instant, my friend slammed on the brake and everybody bailed from the SUV as the Tyrannosaurus was gaining on us, and fast too. We started running straight into the crowded yelling at people to run and get out of the way. It was that moment when I realized something else wasn’t right, the entire market was in quite a peril itself and it wasn’t even for the dinosaur that was getting ever closer.

It was something else.

I chanced slowing down to be able to take a look around and observe what made the town into a frenzy, but what I saw didn’t make anything better.

Some of the people in the market clearly weren’t normal. I recognized the faces, but what they were doing was completely wrong as human beings. They were gnawing on other peoples arms, legs, necks, and any other body part they could get their hands on. Everyone was screaming, fighting, pushing and getting eaten alive, not only by the newly found zombies, but also by the Tyrannosaurus that had now caught up with us and having a hearty meal of the townfolk I grew up with.

Once I figured out what was wrong though, I immediately made the wise decision to continue moving before the dinosaur got any closer than it dangerously was and also before one of the zombies could cling onto me for a fresh meal. So I ran. As fast as I could, jumping over the dead bodies of those that were bitten, soon to be the living dead themselves. I was so focused on avoiding the zombies and running carelessly fast through the market that I couldn’t give any attention to anything else, and lost compass of where my friends went.

A scream then filled the air.

There were people shouting, swearing and screaming everywhere, but this one scream stood out. I didn’t know why, but it snapped me out of my zone and I looked to see where it was coming from. I knew it couldn’t be too far judging by the sound of it, but I just had to see who it came from.

The scream came again. This time more forceful and clearly showed this girls life was on the line.

Hearing it that time, allowed my ears to help me pinpoint where it came from and I saw her instantly. It was a girl, probably a little younger than myself, about to get sandwiched by two zombies slowly closing in on her. I don’t think I knew her, but I knew that I had to help her.

So I changed the direction of my full on gallop to be straight towards her. I remember that I was considering whether I should hit her, or one of the zombies. But I decided to go with hitting her. Since there were two zombies, it was possible that one could still get her and I also didn’t want to take the risk of getting bitten myself. So I hit her. Well… More like body slammed her in my ungracefulness. But we didn’t have time to check our bodies for injury, I got up instantly and pulled her to her feet. I grabbed her hand and we ran. We ran as fast as the wind.

We were coming up on our second roadblock now, running straight towards the sea. As we came up to the side rails of the road, towering above the water, I took a moment to weigh our options. I didn’t want to take us back into the market, there were too many zombies and not to mention that dinosaur looming in the distance. To the left and right up the road, there wasn’t too much of a choice neither, those roads seemed filled souvenir shops and seaside diners/restaurants, with tonnes of people, many already overcome with the zombie disease.

Still holding this mysterious girls hand, I led her straight ahead in a run and jumped clear over the guard rails, sending us plummeting towards the water. We splashed in and immediately came back up to the surface, at that point was when my short plan ended.

Once again, I took a look around to survey the situation, and as luck would have it, I saw a small and abandoned row boat not more than 200 meters away, beached up on one of the few rocks that were along the walled off edge of the sea. When we got to it, I pulled it down into the water and prayed it didn’t have any considerable holes in it’s body. 

After giving the small boat a quick look over, it appeared safe and ready to go. I helped the girl into the boat before getting in myself. I picked up the lone, old wooden paddle and began to row us away from our coastal paradise, that was now home to a zombie apocalypse.

Rowing away, I finally took a moment to look at the girl that I not-so-gracefully saved in the town market. I don’t know her name, heck, I don’t know a single thing about her. Except that, in that moment, in my dream; she was beautiful. Probably the most beautiful girl I could have ever seen. Unfortunately, that’s only the feeling I get. When I wake up from the dream, I can never remember the girls face, no matter how hard I try and how much I wish to. It just ends with us rowing away into our future, leaving me to wonder what happens in the end.

 

There it is. I’m not sure if dreams are hidden messages trying to tell me something, or if they are just a collection of our random thoughts, arranged in a way that makes sense to us. But this dream must have something to it since I’ve had it four or five times already. Maybe even more for the nights that I don’t remember my dreams. Usually I would blame it on watching a movie or reading a book along the same lines. Although thinking about it, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s been forever since I’ve watched any of the Jurassic Parks and months since the last time I saw “The Walking Dead”.

I just hope that next time I have this dream again, I’ll be able to see that one girls face as we row off into the sea.

Kinda makes me want to write a book too…

 

“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream” Edgar Allan Poe

 

Tyson Trepidations.