Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

Until a few years ago, like maybe 26-27 years of age, I used to be a very open & friendly person. I still am to a certain degree but I no longer have that naive notion that everyone is a friend and that if I am friendly enough, I will be well liked. Since my early 20s I have learned the hard way that people will take advantage of you if you let them, that you can go into situations with the least amount of trepidation, maximum openness and friendliness and with the best of intentions at heart but you will most likely get burned unless you are also equally cautions and skeptical of people and their intentions.

I can’t pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend. He/she might well turn out to be so but that will take it’s own sweet time and if anyone – depending on their nature – wants to be friends and is open and honest, well why not? But I prefer to be careful, take my time in getting to know the person and avoid being taken advantage of or attacked when the chips are down. It’s just the way I see things at the moment and I’m not sorry about it. Yet I can honestly say that I am a very friendly person, only I am a more cautious person than before.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

The Legend Of Hercules

From director Renny Harlin comes one of two 2014 movies about the mythological demi-god of ancient Greece РThe Legend Of Hercules. Co-written by Harlin with Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve, and Sean Hood. The film stars Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Roxanne McKee, and Liam Garrigan.

The movie starts off with King¬†Amphitryon invading a neighbouring kingdom and killing their king. In a battle scene that looks way too CGI-ish for my tastes (almost animation cartoon like) and very 300 like, the Amphitryon is victorious as he easily defeats Galenus and seizes his kingdom. He boasts to his estrange wife Queen Alcmene and she clearly dispises his lst for power & gold. She goes to pray to the goddess Hera and is visited by a woman, who the goddess has inhabited, and who prophesies that Zeus will visit Alcmene and impregnate her with a son who will end Amphitryon’s reign. The only witness to this exchange is Chiron, the queen’s loyal adviser. That night as the king celebrates with his men, Alcmene is visited by Zeus and he has sex with her. The king sees her in bed and believes she has taken a mortal lover but finds no one. Alcmene soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Alcides, but she secretly acknowledges his true name:¬†Hercules.

Cut to 20 years later and Alcides is frolicking with his love, princess Hebe of Crete and is spied upon by his older brother Iphicles. The two young men on route to the palace are attacked by a large ferocious lion and Alcides wrestles with the lion, crushing it. As they reach the palace for a party Iphicles claims the credit and clings to the pelt of the lion and claims that Alcides had fled as a coward when the lion attacked them. At the banquet Amphitryon announces the engagement of Hebe and Iphicles, as he is annexing the kingdom of Crete. A shocked Hebe & Alcides try to run off together but they are caught by the guards and Alcides is sent away to Egypt on a campaign with other soldiers. It is then that Alcmene tells Alcides of his true lineage and the name Hercules. He however does not believe her and sets off to Egypt with the soldiers, under the the command of Captain Sotiris. In Egypt the Greeks are ambushed by a large group of enemy soldiers and in the fight all the Greeks are killed except for Alcides & Sotiris. To protect his prince’s identity Sotiris claims that Alcides is dead and the prince calls himself Hercules.

Hercules & Sotoris are sold as slaves and made to fight as gladiators in arenas earning a name for themselves and eventually winning their freedom when they fight against previously undefeated warriors (including a pair that look like ancient Greece’s version of former wrestling legends, The Legion of Doom) and even though Sortoris gets injured, Hercules single-handedly defeats 6 warriors in Greece earning their freedom. Meanwhile Alceme, in mourning for her son, finally tells the king about Hercules’ real father and is killed by Amphitryon. Meanwhile deserters of Amphitryon’s army joins Hercules Chiron brings Hercules’ news of his mother, who vows to avenge her death. Sotiris and Hercules seek refuge in the home of the human vessel of Hera, who foretells Hercules’ destiny. Hebe, is saved by Chiron before she can commit suicide and is brought to Hercules for a joyous reunion. Hercules and Sotiris begin a fight against Amphitryon’s campaign of tyranny, angering Amphitryon who seeks to destroy them. Iphicles, aided by his mercenaries, murders Sotiris’ wife and uses his son as a bargaining chip. Sortis has to lead the king to Hercules who is tied to pillars and whipped.

Hercules watches on in horror as Iphicles murders Chiron under Amphitryon’s orders. In anguish he acknowledges his father and calls upon him for strength. Hercules breaks free from his chains and crushes Amphitryon’s guard. Amphitryon and Iphicles escape. Hercules and Sotiris gather their soldiers and attack the palace and after a fight, Hercule is about to kill the king when Iphicles arrives with a knife at Hebe. Hercules hesitates but Hebe thrusts the dagger through her shoulder, killing Iphicles. Hercules finally avenges Alcmene’s death and kills Amphitryon with the same blade that killed his mother. He then rushes to Hebe’s aid and carries her away to be taken care off. We then see Hercules & Hebe as king & queen, ruling the kingdom with a new baby in their arms.

Critics panned this movie and I agree. It’s not a well made or well acted film and certainly lacks the charm & charisma of movies made on Hercules back in the 60s & 70s. It bombed at the box office. I’d give it a 5.5 outta 10!

Ryan Smyth Retires

One of my favourite hockey players, the Edmonton Oilers’ no#94 has decided to hang up his skates after 19 seasons in the NHL. (from TSN.ca) Smyth said Friday his body was still willing, but with his young children getting older, his mind was wandering. “The mental side of the game, I didn’t have it at times,” Smyth told a news conference at Rexall Place, with his family on hand. “I’ve got a wonderful family that I miss out on a lot of their stuff. That (became) a factor. “There comes a time in my life where you have to turn the page.” Smyth and his wife Stacey have two daughters & 1 son.

The 38-year-old known for his famous mullet was also a stalwart on Team Canada. He was drafted sixth overall by Edmonton in 1994 and spent most of his 18-season career in Alberta’s capital. He mixed grit with a scoring touch and became the face of the post-Wayne¬†Gretzky Oilers, leading the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2006. Smyth thanked everyone from former teammates to the Oilers’ massage therapist in a speech that saw the scrappy forward fight back tears. Sitting beside him at the news conference was Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish. Smyth has 386 goals and 456 assists and 974 penalty minutes in 1,269 games heading into Edmonton’s Saturday season finale against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. He added 59 points (28-31) and 88 penalty minutes in 93 career playoff games.

He also earned the nickname “Captain Canada” for his loyalty to Canada’s men’s national team. The team is preparing a tribute to the Banff, Alta., native during Saturday’s game. Asked what he’ll miss the most about the game, Smyth said the it will be the journey itself. “Being on the ice surface, the adrenalin, the excitement, obviously your teammates,” he said. Smyth played at least 40 games as an Oiler in 14 of his 18 seasons. He blossomed in his first full season with the team in 1996-97, when he had 61 points (39 goals and 22 assists) in 82 games. Smyth was a steady force up front in Edmonton early in his career. The six-foot-two 191-pounder played a key role in the Oilers’ 2006 Stanley Cup run. Smyth had 16 points (7-9) in 24 games that post-season as the Oilers dropped a seven-game series to the Carolina Hurricanes.

He was shipped to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline during the 2006-07 season. Long-term contract negotiations between Smyth’s agent, Don Meehan, and Oilers then general manager Kevin Lowe went to the 11th hour but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal. With Smyth due to become a free agent that summer, Lowe didn’t want to risk losing him for nothing in the off-season. Smyth said goodbye to Edmonton during an emotional news conference at the city airport. He played two seasons with Colorado and two more with Los Angeles before he asked Kings GM Dean Lombardi for a trade in 2011. A deal was finalized in June of that year. He has provided some veteran leadership on a young Oilers squad over his last three seasons. Saturday will be Smyth’s last chance to set a team record for power-play goals. Smyth and Glenn Anderson have 126 each, one ahead of Gretzky. Internationally, Smyth played at two Winter Games, helping Canada win gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. Smyth also won gold at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 and represented Canada at seven straight world hockey championship during his prime.