What’s Going on With These Pebble Formations

Allow me to elaborate.

Pebbles (Gev’s Matevosyan)

I peek in on what young people are thinking through my blog hopping. I of course use WordPress but tumblr is also an amazing source of photos and quotes from people who are often 20-30 years younger.

Today I saw one that said “One day I will find a place I call home.” I remember that feeling. I am fortunate to say my home is with Sarah. We made a little family that grew and now I know where home is. So that leads me back to what is happening in this little picture, also from tumblr.

I see two important truths in this photo. 1) Building something (like a home) takes time. The piles here are art so imagine home taking a while longer to build. 2) The stacker knew when to stop. You see the small ones up top and how it would be impossible to stack any higher. You will know when you’re established in your art or in your home. At that point, stop building and rest, taking in what you have made. You deserve that.

Who knows how long that art will stay up. Things like finding ones place in the world may take many fall-downs and rebuilds. That teaches you how to do it right. I think there is a lot to learn about life from these pebble formations.

Online Diary 10/18/2016 – ‘Use Your Illusion’

The little things become what life was, looking back, when we’re older. I try to escape the idea of nothingness and death by keeping this little online diary. I imagine one day I’ll sit somewhere in a big puffy leather chair with my coffee or other hot beverage and all this crap I typed will make me smile. (Don’t step on my illusion please. It’s working for me)

“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.” — Herman Hesse
“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.” — Herman Hesse

To quote Sausage Party, “A Hero will rise.” It looks like it won’t be Trump. He is a tiny person. I have never lost so much respect for someone than I have of him in the past weeks. And, contrary to his paranoid beliefs, it isn’t because of a biased media, it’s because of him. November 9th can’t get here soon enough for me. I’ve just voted by mail.

The ‘Talking Stars Podcast‘ has been happening every weekend. I never planned on that. It’s been fun but this weekend is a weekend off. The fruits of our labors allow us to do that. We are on the verge of recording our 20th episode! Too cool, I am excited about that. This podcast is all about movies. If you review movies on your blog or you are in movies in any capacity, you may want to be on our show. It’s a little publicity and fun, in my opinion. Contact me at rileycentral@gmail.com

I’m cutting way back on coffee. Health reasons. I even started drinking instant because it’s way less caffeinated than Starbucks. It’s hard some days but I like getting through a day knowing it has no hold on me. It’s been a great couple of weeks since my last online diary entry. Hope you’re doing well too. Please leave me a comment, I don’t get enough of those. Would love to hear someone chime in and say hello: I dare you ;)


Column: ‘How to Build Your Own Frankenstein’

I used to build these little PAC MAN figurines out of glossy card stock, glue and yellow paint when I was a grade school kid. It was so awesome to finish one, though it took days to cure, set and dry. It wasn’t that the time made me appreciate it more but rather because it was more durable and it looked better when it took more time to build.

img_0855-1Damien Riley is a blogger and podcaster who writes a column at RileyCentral.net once a week. He has an MA in English  from California State University, Fullerton, he married a princess (now his queen) and together they have 3 children.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a tried and true aphorism. Even still, we forget the simple rules of building something and many times, we build crap. This happens in our passions and in our ordinary lives. Why are some of us in such a hurry to get something made? If we identify what we want to achieve through goals and pre-defined knowledge, we can measure our progress and make changes along the way to building our own private Frankenstein. These days, my Frankenstein has been my blog film critic podcast, “Talking Stars” that I’m building with 3 other blog film critics.

It’s a proper challenge to get listeners for a podcast, especially now that everybody and their brother seems to have one. I barely have time to visit and comment on the blogs I follow, much less to listen to podcasts that are often over an hour in length. Still, it’s a challenge I am up for. Darren and I started the podcast in May. We got to know each other through our common interest in movies. We’ve learned to go back and forth in sync with style and sound. I pick up on his cues and vice Versa. This process has taken months. There was a time in fact when I thought we wouldn’t keep going. It turned out we both enjoy having dialog about films and now after 6 months, it feels like we know what we are doing.

We added 2 other blog film critics: Kira and Becky. They bring more dynamics to the show but again, we have to learn how to interact on the show as well as through planning off-line.

Our show is by no means successful in a commercial sense. I say we’re doing well because we get along and we’ve created 20 episodes. If you have a podcast, you may agree that is an accomplishment. This is our first year and I don’t know if it will last. Still, I try to not focus on the visitor counts and instead focus on making a tight, concise product. I would imagine in time we would benefit to limit our focus to a niche. I have no idea how to do that since talking about stars and movies is about as saturated a niche as is extant.

The bottom line is, if you’re going to make something: cool your jets. Stop thinking you’re cute and such and pay attention to the foundations. Do you have the time to set aside? Do you know your niche? Do you have the strongest materials to build your foundation? MOst importantly, do you enjoy the thing and do others enjoy it with you? Before you build something, count the cost. Don’t do something because it sounds cool. That fades very quickly. You will need to call upon your under strength soon so if it isn’t there and you need a pat on the back, you might as well pass on the venture. Those things may come in time but do it for the intrinsic rewards.

Would you want to be a hit for a week and be toppled or a moderate success, maybe a hit, then a household name? Don’t take shortcuts to simulate success. You’re not fooling anyone and you are the victim in the end.

To the youth looking for a career I say this. Find something you are very passionate about and then interview people who do it. If, after doing that, you are still passionate, follow it! Go to school to do it better than anyone. Do work in the field pro bono. In doing that, you become an expert little by little. Get experience in other passions as well. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Most of all, move toward your passion. You will build your Frankenstein along the way. That nugget you create will grow to something big, your own personal huge-ass Frankenstein. Be able to take or leave it and your monster will always be there to have your back.

A Tiny Billionaire

With just weeks until the Presidential election, Trump has begun crying foul of Clinton, the media, and women who claim he groped and sexually assaulted them at some point in his 70 years on this earth. They are coming out of the woodwork. I’ve been listening to him assauly Hillary Clinton for almost a year now and mostly I ignored him until I had a chance to check out the facts before I got concerned about her. Well, now that Trump is essentially inciting the mob mentality in his voters, so of whom are my personal friends, I thouht it best to reserach these accusations against hillary and write a blog post explaining who Trump is. After all this time and his raucous behavior, I am shocked any of my friends still support him. That’s why I’m putting this out. I find his followers to be militant in their hatred of the federal givernemnet and of Hillary Clinton. I think it’s important that those of us intending to work within the system we have to affect change, and let’s be very clear here, Trump is no statesman and would happily destroy our system if it served his interests, to put out thoughts out there. Our system is under attack from a tiny billionaire. Trump reminds me of the king in this video and yet, you supporters of him are clamoring to lift him up. He is a trainwreck and he doesn’t care who he insults or hurts to get himself into the oval office. Below are two articles that I feel are well reasoned and put Hillary’s mistake in Benghazi into perspective. I hope you will stop listening to his shit about these two things, but that’s your right either way.


Hillary Clinton Benghazi Story: Everything You Need to Know about What Happened

Using her personal email server to conduct business:

Rogue (2007)

This independent horror thriller crocodile film scared audience in theaters about a decade ago. It was your basic “gigantic animal terrorizes a small eccentric group” film, like Jaws. It’s great entertainment but does it compete with other successful movies like it?



Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier

Directed by

Greg McLean

Written by

Greg McLean

Other Info

Action, Adventure, Horror, Thriller
Thu 08 Nov 2007 UTC
IMDB Rating: 6.2

The protagonist is a travel writer who has never done more than a review in print. He’s on a wildlife boat tour with less than 20 others and they end up marooned being forced off their boat and out of the water by a huge crocodile.

The story consists of these people trying strategies to escape the crocodile with some having deadly results. This croc is big and he’s fast. For an independent film, the cgi is pretty effective. His body slithers and strikes deftly. He does “the death spin” when he gets a person on his jaws and that is terrifying.

This is a fun thriller. It has a list of well-known characters and the script if pretty good. It builds suspense with the help of a dramatic score and appears to have been filmed on location in Australia. As in most horror, the victims all have flaws and come from different levels of society. The monster, in this case a croc, is the great equalizer that cuts everyone down to size regardless of income or station. For fans of the horror/thriller genre, I definitely recommend this, it’s a lot of fun.

This post appeared first at Riley on Film