Archive for June, 2006

Superman Returns

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Got back from watching Superman Returns. It weighs in at 2:40, so make sure you use the bathroom before the movie starts. I liked it, but Singer had two stories there that he was trying to tell. First was to explain Superman’s disappearance and reacclimation, which he needed to get out of the way before he could really delve into the second story, which was Lex Luthor’s plot. They overlapped, but there was a feel that some story elements needed to get out of the way before more could happen.

But it was good, and there was an appropriate number “super” moments for people to get a nice tingly feeling over. It was reasonably tight, with no glaring plotholes that I could think of.

Kevin Spacey did a good job as Lex Luthor, which was no surprise. A little feel of Gene Hackman, with Spacey’s own zealousness. Didn’t really like Parker Posey’s character as his squeeze though, mainly because it annoys me that Lex Luthor would pick someone so stupid to be his main squeeze. Mind you, I don’t mean that Parker Posey is stupid. Just clarifying for all the idiots out there.

Some stuff was badly foreshadowed, to the point where everyone saw it coming a mile away, even without super sight.

Kal Penn (Kumar) is in the movie and he’s a named character, but he’s never referred to by name. Ah well, he gets face time other than as a stoner.

Cyclops, I mean James Marsden, is in the film as well, playing the role of Cyclops without the red beams or sunglasses. Actually, a much nicer character, but still a guy that you want to see die off. Because while Cyclops’ power is cool, in the movies, he’s a schmuck. At least the comic book version, he demonstrates why he’s the leader of the X-Men, and it’s not his huge…beam.

Anyhow, I liked the movie, but I still am mad at Singer for ditching X-Men 3.

To top it off, I caught a glimpse of the new Ghost Rider flick, starring Nicolas Cage.

Can’t decide if Marvel is trying to drive their properties into the ground like they did with the Hulk movies back in the 80s, only with better special effects.

That goes for DC as well.

Ah hell, throw in Image and we’ll get a burning wreck hat-trick.

Reconnected

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Holy shit, my DSL at home was spotty and it was driving me nuts. I was also getting a lot of static on the line. The telco guy came out, checked the box, and saw a loose wire. A few twists of nut and the static went away and the internet flowed freely to my room.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Thank God for John Stewart

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Recently, US politicians have been up in arms about the violence in video games because it’s the “in” thing to do. Basically, an undefendable scapegoat. Thank God there’s John Stewart.

This clip is the intro of the show, and then cuts into the ridiculing of older people out of touch with reality and begging for a few votes.

Sleep

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

So, it’s going to be my first night with the BiPap. To help me breathe as I sleep. To fight off the sleep apnea. We’ll see how it goes. Part of me is jazzed that I have this technology, part of me is bummed that I’ve got to use it.

Parallel Lines

Monday, June 19th, 2006

This was a really full weekend. Like, completely full. I’m exhausted, but I had a great time.

Hung out with Tamiko, Jasmine, Miles, Jeff and Stacy at Carry Nation’s on Friday night.

Went to the BAE Car Show on Satuday Morning and saw Tamiko’s Pacer all shiny and clean.

Went geocaching with Jess and Scott in Los Gatos and did two of the caches.

Went climbing with Matt for about 3.5 hours at the Sunnyvale Planet Granite.

Had dinner with Matt, Ken and Liz in Mountain View.

Went up to the city on Saturday to hang out with Francis, Simona, James, and Jimmy. Went to the de Young while we were up there and had lunch at Chez Maman in Bernal Heights.

All in all a great weekend. Photos will be forthcoming.

What I noticed about this weekend, particularly with the geocaching and climbing, was that I’ve spent a lot of time in this rigid upright/uptight pose lately. Not really spreading my wings and getting a feel for what I can do and where I can go. Doing geocaching and climbing really got my arms outside the parallel lines that define my body and got me bending and moving in ways that I had forgotten I could do. Geocaching reminded me to look around, up, down, in ways that I don’t normally do. And to actually LOOK at things, not just gloss over them as I’m prone to do as my focus wanders.

Intellectually, I think I got away from the parallel lines as well, taking the opportunity to go to the car show, which I’ll admit I know very little about, as well as getting to the de Young museum to take in some culture about the Arts and Crafts movement. Both were extremely interesting in their own right, and I’ll jump at the chance to learn more about either.

Geographically, I went all over the place, down to Los Gatos, and up to San Francisco, and just had a great time, really enjoying this area for what it has to offer. And about damn time, I might add. For the cost of living here, there had better be something else to offer other than fine weather. Gladly, there is. Just a matter of looking for it.

So now that I’ve overanalyzed my weekend and sucked the romanticism right out of it, I do need to say thanks to everyone who made my weekend so good and gave me the opportunity to get outside those parallel lines.

new game

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006



new game

Originally uploaded by FngKestrel.

So when I was swamped with my class and trying to get my fighting game going and neck deep in work, I bemoaned the lack of free time I had to do the things I want.

Now that the class is over, my fighting game is in progress and I have an assistant to help me, I find myself wasting the time that I held so dearly months ago.

And more over, now that I have this free time, I want other people to be free as well, knowing full well that everyone’s schedules are different, in the way that people are different.

And that difference depresses me, because, as well as I know that the differences are key, I really like to spend time with people.

But as a good friend pointed out to me, I was being a curmudgeon (she knows who she is), and that I knew that I should be grateful for the time I do get to spend with people, instead of pining for more time with people.

But there’s also this, and Death puts it best:
“Feeling all sorry for yourself because your little game is over, and you haven’t got the — the balls to go and find a new one!”

So yes, my curmudgeoness(?) is some wallowing in self-pity.

I resolve to find new games to play, new adventures to challenge, new experiences to live.

I’d like for people to join me, but it’s okay if they don’t. They’ll all see the pictures on Flickr eventually. 😀

American Dragon: Jake Long

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

So I’m watching the current season of American Dragon: Jake Long. The story is fine, but the art direction got mauled somewhere between Season One and Season Two. I don’t know what the hell happened, but I can’t stand the new art style.

They went a little bit more towards abstracted outlines and they got rid of the black outlines around the characters. The characters themselves seem a little rougher.

What the hell is up with Jake’s hair?!

They definitely are using a 3d application and applying cel shading to the renders. It was pretty apparent when they were walking down the school hallway.

Really don’t like the way Jake’s hair looks when he’s in dragon mode.

Reading the wikipedia entry on AD:JL, it’s confirmed that they changed the art direction.

Not really happy with that decision. My friends and I stopped reading Least I Could Do after they changed artists. After seeing it drawn a particular way and getting familiar with the style, it was just jarring.

On the other hand, Sandman changed artists almost every issue. And for some reason, it worked. No idea why. Maybe because the variety of story fit the change in art.

Anyhow, I’ll grit my teeth and stick it out.

Quickie

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Just a link at the moment. But it’s a phenomenal link.

http://tinyurl.com/nq2et

Kooshes and Morale

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Breathing hard.

Just got done having a Kooshball fight with my coworkers.

Nothing quite like having multiple kooshes whistling through the air, threatening to inflict rubbery damage on whomsoever is unfortunate enough to intercept their path.

Good times. 🙂

Vote!

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

I stomp the grounds every year regarding this topic and I’m not sure how many people actually take it to heart.

It’s voting time again people. And while it’s not a presidential election year, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote. There are plenty of relevant topics to decide upon, some hitting much closer to home than deciding on who gets to sit in the swanky chair at 1600 Pennsylvania.

“But Russ, I don’t know who to vote for!”
“My vote doesn’t matter!”
“Who cares?”

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

If you need impartial information, www.smartvoter.org is a great site to go to get the info on the topics in your area. It covers all the candidates, at least the ones who bother to submit information, and it gives an impartial analysis of measures. Finally, it posts the arguments for and against the measures, as well as rebuttals.

Who says your vote doesn’t matter? While the presidential election is determined through an electoral college, where it’s a representative democracy, at the state and local levels, this is still very much a direct democracy, at least in regards to measures and elected officials.

Who cares? Well, for one, you should. Voting is one of the primary ways you exercise power in these United States. Considering that people protested and died for our freedom and right to vote, to esteem it so lightly as to not vote is a gross disservice. Okay, enough heartstring talk.

More practically, voting allows you to steer the government in ways that benefit you the most. One of the prior elections, when there was a price increase on the bridge to help fund public transit…I can assure you that the people who voted Yes for that were not bridge users. If you don’t vote, someone else will. And there’s no guarantees on the way they’re going to vote

Be an informed voter. Vote the way you think is right.