Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Bit About Movies

Last night my wife wanted to go on a date, since everybody was home. So we decided to go to the movies, and she was curious about Cloverfield, but I was really itching to watch "No Country for Old Men." And in typical Coen Bros style, the movie is top notch. Javier Bardem is just a complete badass in it, more menacing than most villians in my movie memory. There's such an air of evil and unpredictability about him that he's walks around like the Grim Reaper himself. I highly recommend it although if you're looking for tidy endings, don't expect one in sight.

Following up with the anime front, I finished "Tokyo Godfathers" and although it's an older movie, I highly recommend that one as well. It's a gem and a testament that all anime isn't about wide-eyed characters in sci-fi premises. This is a comedy about three homeless people, a gay man, a middle aged guy, and a teenage girl who suddenly find themselves tasked with finding the parents of an abandoned baby girl. It ranges from touching to laugh out loud funny at times, and it's certainly worth a look. There are so many little moments that sometimes I find myself missing them as I read through the subtitles.

Alright, now a bit about the kids. They've been polar opposites lately, Zoe's been easy to converse with, happy and carefree, and just fun to be around. Alex has been... not so much. We're hoping that it's just a phase, but he's walking around like an Id with a chip on his shoulder. He wants things his way, has selective hearing, and gets incessant about his demands. His infamous thing right now is that after the movie at night, he wants to listen to the music at the end of the credits. In reality, a parent will know that he doesn't really care who the animator's caterer is, he's just stalling for bedtime. But when we turn off the TV once the credits roll, he will bawl out loud as if you just told him in an instant that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Chocolate Flavor weren't real, but also in my freezer. He will turn a perfectly okay evening into a high stress situation whereby he won't calm down until he gets his way. Of course, this gets me absolutely livid to the point of unreasonable and irresponsible, and he gets more worked up. It's a last ditch attempt of control by him at the end of the day, but he doesn't know that it's because he's tired, he won't get his way, and he'll never win this fight.

Yeah, he's been a little tough lately, not listening to general instructions or being obsessive about toys. He'll want toys he can't have, food he shouldn't have, and do things that he shouldn't do. He probably was like me when I was little, a little boy wanting to be an adult so that I could do whatever I wanted to do. Of course, this all sounds grand when you're a kid, but then when you're an adult, you just want to revert back to being as oblivious as a child.

Oh, another thing that's been giving me a lot of enjoyment, other than the PS3 and it pretty pretty graphics, (Uncharted is one of the nicest looking game I've ever seen), is something seemingly out of left field. Get ready for it, it's NPR. That's right, National Public Radio is making my days at work 100 percent more interesting, since there's so much time to zone out and listen to the same songs that I have, instead I listen from everything from movie reviews to satire, stories and news, and even a great game show called, "Wait, Wait, Don't tell me", whereby the grand prize is a voice greeting from the announcer on your home answering machine. I listen to them as podcasts, so I can start and stop them whenever I need to. But it's kinda sweet because I get to go outside my own existence, and I suppose it's a little like college whereby I get new knowledge everyday, which keeps my brain happily stimulated.

Well, time to plan the day with the family. Hard trying to keep it within budget too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lulu Would be a Good Pink Poodle Name

But no, I didn't get a new pet. If I were to get any kind of pet today, it would most likely be a pet rock. They're low maintenance, easy to look at, and probably listen better than some little boys.

Anyway, I finally got around to finishing the reformatting of the American Babies blog, whereby I cut and paste all the entries from the webpage onto a Word document, and then manually reformat it so that it looks normal on a Word Document. Anyway, I uploaded the thing to, so I will be getting two hardcovers in a couple weeks. It's 23 bucks for a copy, and I don't make any royalties off it. It's also available for download as a PDF if you were so inclined.

So now the last few years of my life can be in handy book form, internet free!

Today's kinda a lazy day, the weather's a little cold and uninviting, and since my wife has to work today, we canceled the plan to go watch the Chinese New Year shindig at the local Uwajimaya, since it started way too closely to my wife's work start time. So I've been doing my taxes today (and finished them) and then working on this book deal. It would be nice to have it in a hardcover so that we could just read about stuff without having to go online. I don't know why, just would be.

So as implied earlier, our little boy is going through a behavioral phase right now, one which his ears simply fail to function correctly. A good example would be the art kit we had on the table. He asked my wife if he could play with it, and she replied, "Later." Then he turned to me and asked me the same exact question, and I said, "Mommy said later." Then he turned to my Mom and asked, and got a time out. For a little boy, he's got a lot of sass and attitude, flat out refusing to listen and being persistent and stubborn. So I don't reckon it's fun for him either, having to live on the stairs in a semi-permanent state of time-out.

Skimming through the blog and I actually find myself missing the writing process, being creative and smartass-like is one of my underdeveloped superpowers. But nowadays, I just don't really have the energy and time to devote to that, which is a shame really. My jokes don't fly at my workplace, because I'd just have to explain it too much for it to work. Luckily, one of my co-workers has a relatively good grasp of the language, so quite a bit of my jokes work. They're not quality grade, but it gets laughs.

"Anna came by me and touched me," said Jaime.

"Where and how often?", I replied.

Yeah, sex jokes are it.

I reckon as some time passes, I'll find some more free time to do more creative things, but it seems to be the trend for most of my fellow bloggers. Most of them have either stopped altogether, or have reduced it to occasional obligatory postings or one line postings.

Holy cow, that side project of mine of uploading every photo I have to Flickr just got scarier. So far I've got about 2000 photos uploaded, but glancing at my entire library, looks like I've got about 24,000 to go through. To make things trickier, I try not to upload while I'm at work because my wife and Mom do use the internet, and the slowdown is noticeable. I also try not to do it at night because of my Mom's KylinTV, which is a IPTV device that uses broadband to retrieve Chinese programming from the internet. So I'm just stuck uploading about 50 at a time. And yeah, I'm doing it rather indiscriminately. Any and all photos gets transferred.

Been into Anime lately, trying to catch a little bit more than I usually do. I don't always partake in what traditionally is thought of when someone mentions "Anime", which is like sci-fi robot fare, Dragonball type shennigans, or the like. I recently watched "Paprika" which has a sci-fi backdrop, but mostly has great fantasy type visuals and a theme of duality. "TEKKONKINKREET" was animated by the people who did the animated sequence in Kill Bill which I didn't care for, but I liked it fine in the movie. I've got "Metropolis" and "Tokyo Godfathers" coming up, so I'm hyped for that. Just finished "The Kingdom", which I imagine leaves people a little uneasy even though it's a ficitional thriller. Civilian bombings and beheadings are a little too iffy for entertainment value right now.

Well, that's it for me. Nature calls, and as always, they're calling collect.