Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I was doing my boring old routine of tv watching yesterday when I came across Chris Sligh auditioning for American Idol. I was truly impressed by his sense of humor and his good vocals. It is a breath of fresh air after hours of boring old "I know I am a star" wannabes. This is the first guy this season that I am actually kind of interested in. I think he will bring some liveliness to the show if he ever makes it to the voting rounds. Not that I would actually vote mind you ;)

I was also impressed by the almost technically perfect long program skated by Evan Lysacek at the U.S. Nationals last week. He was totally not the favorite. But he deserved his gold metal after that completely inspired performance. I got goosebumps watching him. It was probably the best skate he has ever done!

So here is a toast to inspirational performances and future potential stars! They may never win that elusive gold but they sure made an impression.

Monday, January 29, 2007

random movie post

This weekend I was able to catch The Queen and Dreamgirls in the theatre. They are almost exact opposite in terms of story and style. The Queen is very much British, quiet and dignified, almost done in a documentary style. Helen Mirren was absolutely brilliant as the Queen of England. The story is about what happened in the royal family the week after Princess Diana died. It is a struggle between old Monarchy traditions of noncompromise and the new way of people power as the Queen refuse to honor Princess Diana who is no longer a part of the royal family but the people of Britain willed it to be so. It is very interesting story and as I was watching, I keep wondering how the filmmakers know that this is indeed what happened since all people involved are still living. I mean how do they know the Queen didn't want the flag to be at half mast until Tony Blair basically scared her about the abolishment of the Monarchy. Do they have actual sources for these things?

Dreamgirls was all glamour and glitz, full of sassy attitude. A typical rise of the band group, fall of the band group story with lots of good music. Although I suppose there were actually a little too much singing and not enough story telling. There wasn't any depth to any of the characters, only a brief sketch. Of course the breakout star is Jennifer Hudson, the 3rd place of American Idol 3. She really was very good in there, not bad for her first movie (won Golden Globe and SAG).

So I am 2 down on my Oscar movie list. I have decided I should catch up on all the good movies before award night. Of course I already missed some but I still hope to see these:

Children of Men - I heard the cinematography was very good
Pan's Labyrinth - comes with Tochi's high recommendation
The Last King of Scotland - a pretty rare subject
Babel - This one was nominated for best film, although I have a feeling it is going to have a bad ending.

While I am on this subject, I suppose I should list some of the movies I am looking forward to this year if nothing else, it will force me to remember watching them. From the list it looks like it will be a summer of sequels and superheroes again. how unoriginal...

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix - Must finish the series!
Spider-Man 3- The only superhero movie I am going to see, I am already tired of all of them (Batman vs Superman, kill me now).
Transformers - I recently saw the trailer for this, you guys have to check it out, it look awesome!
The Simpsons Movie - gotta see
Pirates of The Caribbean 3 - must ..see..Orli...

Now that I see my list, it all seems to be big budget commercial blockbusters. I hope at least to see one or two good independent movie as well.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The fantastic David Copperfield.

I happen to come upon last minute tickets to David Copperfield tour last night so M and I went today to check it out. M is such a fan of him since she has been watching him since years ago. The show was actually in a tiny beautiful theatre (the same place they usually have small pop concerts). It was completely packed and the show was pretty awesome although a little short, only one and half hours without intermission. This show's scale was pretty small as it is but Copperfield was able to do some pretty amazing things like materialize on a motorcycle in a matter of 2 seconds, make a Lincoln convertible appear in midair and walk through a concrete slab of steel. Now, I have never been to real serious magic show before but I have seen it enough on TV to not be completely awe struck. But I still got goosebumps when I watched him complete these amazing illusions in real time. In my mind I know it is of course all trickery but you really can't tell at all. M was quite impressed as well although she wished the show scale was even bigger. One funny thing is that they played alot of montages at the beginning and during the show, I guess to pass the time as they get ready. It is all clips of people praising how cool David Copperfield is in various magazines, tv shows, etc. Copperfield said the montage is called "David Copperfield is fantastic!!!" lol, that was cute. Also, when they picked audience members, they always pick young and beautiful ladies and He flirts with them everytime. lol.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My day in court

Well ok, it was more like a small room with chairs. I went today to my mitigation hearing to see if I can defer my "inattention to driving" traffic ticket. I have never been to municipal court before so it was quite an interesting experience. I had to be there by 8:45 which of course is an ungodly hour to get up but can't be late for court I guess. When I got there, I had to sit with about 20 other people that also has mitigation hearings today. They piled us into a small court room with one judge and one clerk. Then we each get called up to plead our case to the judge who then decide whether to reduce our penalty. They called alphabetically so I am pretty late in the list so I got to hear everybody else beg for forgiveness first. The judge was actually quite lenient, she almost always reduced your fine even if your excuse is as lame as "I didn't see the speed sign". Most people were there for speeding tickets. There was one girl that was there for a carpool violation. She pleaded her case that she doesn't have any money to pay for the fine. The judge asked why she was in the carpool lane when she wasn't suppose to be. She mumbled something about forgetting she didn't have kids in the car that day. Her circumstances was quite desperate in that she has no income and 2 kids to support. But then the judge asked her why she has a previous carpool violation. She couldn't say anything. By then I can hear the entire room thinking "if you have no money, then stop getting traffic tickets by driving in the carpool lane!!". The judge was nice though and she got away with 10 hours of community service. Two people got their ticket dismissed because the police didn't file on time ( lucky!!). There was one russian guy there who needed a translator to tell him he couldn't get deferral because he has a commercial license. A seatbelt violator who got penalty reduced. When it was my turn, I went up there and asked for deferral, which is basically I pay 100 dollars, and then if I don't do anything stupid for a year, they will dismiss my ticket. The judge was super nice in that she then saw my ticket was for 500 dollars and she promptly reduced it to 101 dollars like everyone else. I didn't even have to ask for that. So all in all, it turned out to be a nice day. So going to court was not as scary as I thought and a million people imed me to ask how come I am at work so early (so bad for my image). :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ok. Velius totally need to get THIS for our next party. What is more fun than hearing Simon trash talk after each round! :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

going Medieval?

I saw this little thing on Yahoo news today.

Marni: Leggings Are the New Must-Have
Milan - Now I know there are many out there who will think I have lost it when I write that a key, new must-have for men this coming fall will be a pair of leggings to be worn outside, not just in, the house, but that was the big message at the debut Marni men's runway show this morning in Milan....etc etc.

I realize fashion world is always a few steps ahead of the normal people but this is perhaps going too much over. I can't imagine when it will be considered fashionable for guys to wear tights again, although I am sure it is quite warm.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Car: meet Hill

This is pretty awesome: Cars meeting snowy hill

I am filled with more smugness than I am allowed since this is Portland and not us :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Nodame Cantabile

So I was checking out my regular download website today when I noticed they updated their anime section with a new series, Episode 1 of Nodame Cantabile. Some of you anime guys may know of it. It is the story of a brilliant music student who is afraid of flying and another quirky music student who apparently lives in garbage all day because she is incredibly messy (hmm sounds like someone I know *cough*). The manga came first, and then they made the live action series and this is the anime version. I downloaded it to see what it is like and it is quite cute. They play lovely classical music as background and it has some very cute and funny scenes. Although I don't really get Japaneses' European envy. The main guy wants to give up music because he can't fly to Europe to continue his education. It can't be that bad? So far I like the first episode. I am thinking the anime would be cuter to watch than the live action series because how can they play the garbage girl in real life and still make her cute and desirable? In anime you can do such things. Anyway, nobody spoil me the storyline but I hope it is a good ending :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just something interesting

Pachebel's Rant (A comedian rants about how much it sucks to play Pachelbel's Canon in D on a cello. Recorded live at Penn State, this piece by comedian/musician Rob Paravonian has been a favorite on the Dr. Demento Show)

This is more of a rant on the similarities of most pop music chords than Pachebel's Canon. I suddenly remembered Kaz's post about pop music earlier that talks about album sales being way down and "How To Save A Life" is #1 digital download of the year. I totally agree with him about the songs. I am sure there are several reasons why music sales sucks, one being they make you buy the package deal where most song sucks. One other being how music companies are such giant conglomerate now they just worry about their bottom line so they don't bother actually promoting good music. But the one thing that annoys me is how every song sounds alike. The defining characters tics of our generation's popular music is not how it is hip hop or boy bands or pop princesses, it is how it is all so damn repetitive. Every single song has the format "A A B B C C A B" repeat ad nauseum. I am sure they have some formula going in the backroom that says this song is going to be a hit because we will be playing it 50 times an hour and it will be so catchy it can't help being a hit. But of course it will be a hit for 2 weeks and nobody will ever think of it again except in the numerous end-of-the-year lists they put out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do not walk in Snow Storm with Khaki's On

Well, Storm #2 ripped through fast and furious this afternoon. In fact it came so fast I didn't realize it was snowing until M called and I looked out the window. Rice sized hail covered my car as I drove it out, it is actually kind of fascinating since they are completely dry and have the consistency of foam. Not really something you associate with Hail. After 3 hours in the snow driving home, I learned a couple of things:

1: My car cannot climb hills in the snow
2: I can't parallel park without help
3: Do not walk in snow storm with khaki pants on.

After leaving my car badly parked underneath hill #1 going towards my house. I decided it was a good idea to walk the rest of the way which includes hill #1, hill #2 and hill #3. I estimated about an hour and half of walking since I walked hill #3 before. I had my down jacket on so I know I will be warm. What I didn't think of is that I am wearing thin khaki pants, which got cold, and then wet and then it froze. About half an hour later on hill #2, I realized I can't feel my legs anymore. All kind of nightmarish thoughts crossed my mind about frozen tissue and amputation. So when a pair of nice ladies drove by and decided to give this poor person a ride, I jumped at the chance. Bless them! So I arrived home safe and sound. My legs were completely red as if sun burnt when I got inside and I had to run hot water over them. But hey, at least I still have them :)

oh and I guess this means no work tomorrow =P

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Death of Mr. Noodle

Mr Noodle (NY Times):
"But no. Momofuku Ando, who died in Ikeda, near Osaka, at 96, was looking for cheap, decent food for the working class when he invented ramen noodles all by himself in 1958. His product — fried, dried and sold in little plastic-wrapped bricks or foam cups — turned the company he founded, Nissin Foods, into a global giant. According to the company’s Web site, instant ramen satisfies more than 100 million people a day. Aggregate servings of the company’s signature brand, Cup Noodles, reached 25 billion worldwide in 2006."

A moment of silence to the greatest man ever lived, who kept me from starving in College.

Monday, January 08, 2007

old memories

I was watching sci-fi during dinner and I found out they are rerunning the Enterprise series again. 4 episodes today alone. The intro to that was so beautiful and well done. They completely veered away from the symphonic intro with shots of the ship and instead went with an actual song and a history montage. it still gives me a little goosebump when I see it. Too bad the series never lived up to its potential. I remember when it first came out, I was so excited because they had so much history, so much story to tell and it could potentially connect to the rest of the series and make one continuous story arc. I still remember the first time they used a tractor beam on something. It is like the start of that long road that ultimately ended in the Delta Quadrant with Voyager. But the writers were so unimaginative I was soon disappointed. However, the intro still rocked. I especially liked how they incorporated the sail ships, the space shuttle and the launch of the first warp drive (in ST verse). Nicely done!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The ingenuity of Men

So I casually went to today to check some stuff out when I noticed that I have a "plog" with one post in it flashing on the top right corner. I am assuming plog = product blog? So I clicked on it as I am quite curious except when it involves pinatas and shovels. The post is some random product recommendation that Amazon apparently thought I really needed. Among them is this littel gem. I can already imagine hours of amusement with this piece of hardware.

Friday, January 05, 2007

identity theft

This morning I woke up and missed a call on my cell. The number said 928 *******. I thought, hmm I don't know anyone with that number. I called back and a lady answered to the *** Police Department. Now I am really confused since this is a number in Arizona. I couldn't tell them who called me so I had to hang up. After I talked Velius to ensure that Ender didn't die some horrible grisly death(sorry Ender) in the middle of the night and they need me for a witness. I decided to forget about it and go to work.

I just got called again and apparently it is the BullHead City Police Department, who tried but were unable to catch this person using an ID with my name and my bank account # trying to cash a check at BofA. In short, I am a victim of that often heard but scarcely seen crime, Identity Theft. Apparently my old company lost a whole bunch of employee information earlier this year and several people have gotten hurt. I just checked my bank and it seems to still have the measly amount I have left in it after I bought my car. I still gotta call the credit company and put a 'fraud alert' on my credit rating. How lovely....

THe funny thing is, the bank smelled something suspicious when they saw the ID because the name said my name and the holder was an African American woman, which you must admit, is pretty much impossible even in China. So apparently this master criminal ring is smart and yet kinda stupid. THe evil woman got away though, and I curse you the death of a thousand suns.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Applaud Real Life Heroes

New York lauds 'hero from Harlem':

"...Mr. Hollopeter, a student at the New York Film Academy, was at the subway station at 137th Street/City College on Tuesday when he suffered a seizure and fell onto the tracks just as a train was approaching. Mr. Autrey was standing on the platform with his daughters and scores of other subway riders when he saw Mr. Hollopeter convulsing on the tracks. As he watched, he thought: “I'm the only one to do it.” He eyed the trough between the rails before jumping on top of the teenager, Mr. Autrey said, and relied on his experience as a construction worker used to “confined spaces” to calculate — in split seconds — that “maybe we have enough clearance.” Before jumping, he said he made sure his daughters were okay and asked two women to hold their hands. The southbound train grazed the top of his hat. He said he and Mr. Hollopeter remained there for 20 minutes while MTA workers shut off the third rail. ..."

Gotta give respect to some real life heroes! I can't imagine the guts it took to do that in front of a speeding train.