The Refrigerator Test

Fridge-ClipartFilmmaker Alfred Hitchcock once talked about the concept of the Refrigerator Test.

Whether or not you know what it means, I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept. You go see a movie, and while you are in the cinema watching it, you’re enjoying it. But later, once you go home and as you’re opening the fridge to get a snack, it hits you. “Wait a minute! What about one part?”

The idea is that after you leave the cinema it doesn’t matter if you start to find plot holes, it worked in the moment, and according to Hitchcock, the film passes the refrigerator test and that is what matters.

I bring this up because I’ve had a movie I went to see that initially passed the refrigerator test, but the more I think about it, the more it bothers me.

I went with a friend to go see Morbius this weekend. It’s a Marvel movie that is made by Sony. Morbius is generally a Spider-Man villain, and it is yet to be seen if it will have anything to do with the MCU. I’m doubtful of any direct connection, but who knows, Marvel may want to use him in the future.

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As I watched the film with my friend, the only thing that really struck me as poor was the final battle which was a  CGI mess. Remember in Loony Tunes when the cartoon characters would fight and all you would see is a cloud surrounding them as they fought, that is the best way I could describe how the final battle went.

But otherwise, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t think it was great either. It was a decent popcorn movie.

However, this weekend as I thought about it more and more. As I began to try and process certain scenes and performances, all of a sudden I started seeing more and more wrong with the movie. Instead of thinking Matt Smith gave an eccentric performance, I’m now thinking it was quite silly.  Instead of thinking Jared Leto was brooding, I’m not thinking it was wooden. Instead of thinking this was a film with a dark theme, I’m now thinking it’s just a film that has a “dark theme” like a computer or website has a dark theme.

I would go on, but I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, however I’m sure you get the idea. Somehow, Morbius passed the refrigerator test for me. Maybe it was because it was billed as a Marvel movie that might tie into the MCU. Maybe it was just because it was a superhero movie and it’s been a while since I’ve been let down by a superhero movie. Whatever the case may be, instead of a middling movie that I had initially thought, it’s now feeling more like a pretty poor effort.

Have you ever fallen victim to the refrigerator test? Tell me about it!

Five Things, 18 March

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Five more things, let’s go!

What I’m watching: Legend of Vox Machina
An animated show on Amazon Prime based on the D&D game of a group of voice actors. Their game is called Critical Roll and is streamed on Twitch and YouTube. They are all really talented and wonderful story-tellers and even though the game is basically improved, the show is adapted into a long form show that is 12 episodes long. Check it out if you have Amazon Prime!

What I’m learning about: Patron Saints of the nations of the UK
This is more for some of the work I do as I’m social media coordinator for my mission org in the UK. There are four nations in the UK and each have a patron saint that has a day of celebration associated with them. So I’m learning more about these patrons saints so we can use those days to help recognize and celebrate the nations of the UK on our social media.

What I’m pondering: A book idea
I’ve had this book idea for a while, but I’ve been just letting it marinate and brew for a while. But now I am at the point where I am probably just procastinating actually working on it. So now I’m starting to actively think about and put my thoughts on paper so that it can start to become more concrete and I can finally make some progress on  it. First draft done by end of the year?… fingers crossed

Book I’m Reading: Speed of Trust by Stephen M R Covey
Trust has been something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about over the last couple of years, and when I discovered his on audible I had to pick it up. About half way through and I’ve already picked up some great insight.

What I’m dreaming of: being able to return to England
If you don’t know, I am a Christian missionary based in the United Kingdom and I am stateside right now raising support so that I can return long term. If you’re interested in finding out more about, let me know

@gabebernal

Focusing on the Future

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Sometimes I do this too much.

Looking forward to what could be. It can be great skill, especially when it comes to people. Just about every personality test I’ve taken says I am future-orientated, not only that I am very aspirational, so I enjoying looking into the future.

President Eisenhower once said that “plans are uselss, but planning is indispensible.” So focusing on the future and planning for it has value. But if you’re like me, sometimes you’ll fall into the trap of planning to much, or trying to plan for everything.

I forget the first part of the quote, “plans are useless.” The problem however is much deeper, I will plan and plan and plan because I want to try and control what will happen. But we all know you can’t control the future no matter how much planning you do.

Another problem with focusing on the future, is sometimes you’ll make lofty plans but then nothing ever comes from it. Some day I’d like to write a book, some day I’d like to learn to speak another language, some day I’d like to take that dream vacation. But “Someday” is not a day of the week.

We can look to the future and hope things will happen, but they won’t if you don’t take action. If you don’t take action, next thing you know years, even decades, will pass and you still haven’t done those things that you’ve always wanted to do.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast,” and if you’re too focused on the future life can pass you by. You can try to control what you can’t control or you think that some day is a day of the week, but

So next time to start dreaming about the future (and yes continue to dream!), instead of just leaving it as just a dream, think of some way that you can take a few steps towards achieving that dream. Instead of just planning to “some day” going on that trip, take some time to plan action steps so that you can get closer to finally going.

Nothing is wrong with being future-orienanted. But the problems comes when we take our focus on what really matters, the here and now, and just focus on what could be and never doing something about it.

Stuck in the Past

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I was at one point too.
And not to discourage anyone, but overcoming this problem was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Your past circumstances and decisions often define the current situation you are in, and it’s easy to get stuck on a particular decision you (or someone) made or a set of circumstances that happened that is holding you back.
I should have known better. I should have done this different. Why did I trust him?
It’s easy to obess over it. But would things really be perfect if everything happened different than how it did? That’s the thing though… nothing will ever be perfect. Even when the stars align for one ascept, what are the chances that the stars will continue to stay aligned, or be aligned in every part of your life.
Obsessing over what you did or who you were does nothing but steal your joy. In fact, it can compound the effect. You miss something right in front of you or mess something else up because you are focusing too much energy on what is behind you.
Regardless of your past or present, time will continue to tick on. It is relentless. Nothing stops time from passing, and it will leave you behind if you’re not careful.
I’ll finish this with a piece of insight I heard from Tom Hanks recently. He said one great piece of advice he received was the quote “This too shall pass.” If everything is awful and things can’t get worse – this too shall pas. But if everything is perfect and you want to live happily ever after, remember – this too shall pass.

Five Things, 18 February

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Five more things, let’s go!

Where I’m learning: KurzgesagtWendover, Half as Interesting, PolyMatter, Real Life Lore
I love learning about how the world works. So while these are YouTube Channels where I can learn skills or specific knowledge, they do provide a wide net of general knowledge that I just soak up. Check out all of them and see if maybe one (or more) of these catch your interest.

New Tool I’m using: Deborah Ho Expense Tracker
Ever need a tool to just help you get a handle on your day to day spending? This is something I’ve been using since the new year that has really helped. I personally have never had a problem sticking to a budget, but this has helped me find out where I’m spending most of my money. It uses Google docs and you can save the form as an app on your phone so you can jot down the the info on each purchase as they happen instead of waiting till you get home

What I’m listening to: Harry Mack
This guy is a freestyle rapper on YouTube. He goes on plcaes like omgele and raps for strangers. I get lost in his videos, sooo good!

Spotify Playlist I’m listening to: The Beat
Did you enjoy the halftime show like I did! Check out this old late-90s, early-00s rap playlist I made long ago. It includes all the songs from Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, and 50 Cent that was performed at the Halftime Show.

Idea I’m pondering: How many people are in the world
Maybe this is another blog post I’ll post later when I’ve fleshed it out, but it is mind boggling to think about how many people there are in the world. The other day I was thinking about how many people I know and met – and there are more people in the suburb I grew up in than people I know! crazy thought.

@gabebernal

The Cave You Fear

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” – Joseph Campbell

You are going to have to venture places you’ve never been.

You are going to have to go places you are afraid to go.

You are going to have to do things that scare you.

If you don’t, what you might find is you will settle for a life that is less than what you hoped for. Nobody achieves what they want from settling. We are capable of doing and being so much, yet too many times fear holds us back.

But imagine, even if just for a second, what would happen if you entered the cave you feared. Imagine the adventure, imagine the experience, imagine the “treasure.”

Anything worth doing is going to be hard work. Yet, too many people want to follow the path of least resistance. We activity choose the safe journey, the way with the least amount of risk, but they then wonder why life is unfulfilling.

Life is challenging, it is also constant. So in theory, it makes sense to play it safe. But theory is not reality. In fact, they can be opposites. Playing it safe can often be risky in itself.

However, to grow and be fulfilled in this life, we need to stop only doing what is comfortable, stop avoiding our fears, and face it head on. So pursue that dream, take that chance, go out on that limb. Because that risk you need to take will be the only way to get what you want.

What cave are you afraid to enter?

Five Things, 28 Jan

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Oops… Missed a week!

I guess I’m still not in the habit of doing this even though it’s real simple.

Book I’m reading: Thanks for the Feedback

Just started this book. Interested to continue in as I navigate how best to not only receive feedback well, but also improve my ability to give constructive and useful feedback.

Podcast I’m listening to: Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Whether you are in ministry or not, this is a fantastic podcast to follow and listen to. Once a month Craig Groeschel shares a nugget of leadership truth.

Tool I’m using: Strength Finders

I can be a bit of a personality test junkie. But I don’t do these tests for the sake of doing the test. I’m of the state of thought where to lead myself I need to know myself. So whether it’s Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, 5 Voices, DISC, or StrengthFinders – I take these test to learn about myself so I don’t fall in the traps and poor tendancies associated.

Right now, I’m going through my top 10 strengths in StrengthFinders, which I’ve never done a deep dive on, and am learning so much about myself

Current Obsession: Wordle

Like everyone else, I am obsessed with Wordle. I’m usually not great at word games, but I seem to be doing okay at this so far. *fingers crossed*

Game I’m loving: What Do You Meme?

I love memes. I love card/board/table top games. What better than a card game about Memes!

@gabebernal