melanoman: (Default)
Very cool. Very twisty.

I think there is a secret shown that wasn't explicitly revealed...

A movie con amor mas mal.
melanoman: (Default)
...with a blue moon in my eyes. So I watched the soprano's with my parents. It's the first episode I've ever seen live as opposed to on DVD, and its the first TV show I've watched since...umm....well, other than sports and a bit of comedian pseudonews (think Stewart/Colbert) its the first TV I've watched this whole year. I kinda like not watching TV, and I'm in no hurry to return to old habits.

Life has been busy this week. Got in a couple runs and one slightly abbreviated night of swimming.

I also saw the movie Nightwatch. Very cool subtitles. The opening scene looks like it was bolted on after the fact for the american audience. The directing was experimental in a lot of places, but generally well done. Cinemtography wasn't always great, but the modern day moscow setting more than makes up for that. Also just getting to spend a couple hours immersed in Russian is fun.
melanoman: (Default)
It's been a hectic few weeks and I haven't done a lot of journaling lately. But tonight is the night. So going backwards in time more or less free association...

Today I had the kids. We just watched "Joey" an Australian movie about a kid who foils an underground Kangaroo boxing ring with the help of an ambassador's daughter. The main kid has no father and she has no mother, so at the end of movie the predictable romance gets hinted at.

The movie ended just as time was up. I was afraid I was going to have to ask their uncle to wait five minute for the movie to finish before taking them. The last thing I want to do there is give him an excuse to be more obnoxious than usual. He has this habit of trying to drop little half-threats whenever we are alone, like "watch both ways when you cross the street" or just standing too close and trying to stare me down. He looks ridiculous when he does this. Of course he is about 6'2' 250lbs to my 5'6" 160 lbs. so I can't afford to be careless.

Before that Richard had a go at Dinner Dash, which has sat unused for a while. He cleared several levels that had previously eluded him. Moira's choice was Wesnoth and lot of progress was made there also. (These are both video games, and I have multiple computers so they can play simultaneously, but often they watch each other and play one at a time anyway)

Before that I got them out into the sun to play mini-golf. I shot a 44, which is pretty good for me. If I could have avoid one disaster 6 on an anthill hole I'd have been near my record of 39. Richard was inconsistent with his concentration and his result showed it. His normal 50 became a 68. The more important thing was that the kids were well behaved throughout. Moira had one almost-incident when Richard grabbed all the balls from the hole before she could, but was able to regain her composure fairly quickly. Everything went smoothly and the kids enjoyed it.

At the trip to blockbuster afterwards. Moira got to pick out Joey. I made the case for Stand by Me but the kids weren't moved. Is shouldn't have admitted the fact that it was about friendship and stuck to the get-in-trouble angles. Baby marsupials...sigh. The Blockbuster people were trying to make a hard sell for me to switch from in-person rentals to online. Kinda weird given that the people making the pitch are the ones who will lose their jobs if I do.

This morning I found that I had actually caught up on errands and such, so I watched Wes Craven's Red Eye. Scary stuff and a lot less annoying gaping plot flaws than most suspense films.

That was today. I think I'll end this entry as "A day in the life" and not wander backwards to the last few days right now. There are some other places my attention would be better used right now.

Mel
melanoman: (Default)
Erica arranged a dinner and movie night last night, then got herself stuck in traffic on the five and was among the last to arrive, not making it until after-movie coffee.

The restaurant was Maggiano's, my first time at that restaurant. The server looked like he was in high school, but that's probably just me getting old. The restaurant served Italian fare in ample portions done quite well. It was a little pricey (around $15-30 per plate before drinks and sides) but I enjoyed it. A big plus for me was that the layout was designed to dampen sound. To many of the new generation restaurants are actually aiming for echoes to make a place seem "lively" -- no thanks.

We then went to see RENT. I haven't seen the musical so I cannot comment on how faithful they were to it. My initial reaction to the movie was that the singing was strong, the dancing was competent, and the cinematography was marginal. The story is basically a modernization of Puccini's La Boheme (or at least Murger's). Aids takes the place of consumption; the playwright becomes a documentary film artist; the oppressive landlord is a developer who wants to turn some squatter space into a cyber cafe.

Early in the film there is the line "From now on I shoot without a script..." and that pretty much sums up the continuity for me. Character mood jumps between extremes on the slightest provocation or none at all. I'm sure the goal was "tempestuous" but it comes up more like a mass case of rapid cycling bipolar.

The cast are the most attractive and healthy looking persons with AIDS you are never likely to meet. If the movie has a saving grace, they are it. The score is good but not great. The performance, especially vocally, is the one truly excellent point of the movie.

After dinner we met up with Erica at Flames and took over a booth for a couple hours. The conversation started with movie reviews and holiday stories, but then wandered its way all over the place. Definately the most enjoyable part of the evening for me. The people had so much energy and no one was bitter about anything. I'm so glad to be able to enjoy something like that without having to drift to darker topics.
melanoman: (Default)
Why on earth would I be starting a second blog? I already have a blog, but that one is different from this one in two ways. First, my blog at Yahoo is a single-topic thing to which I'm controlling the access. Not tightly, but I figure I don't really want to share it with anyone who doesn't know me well enough to know what what it is about. And anyone who has known me for more than a month or two can guess what the blog is about. I'm not worried about hackers getting at it, not because I don't think they can, but because I doubt any hacker worth his or her salt would give a damn about a personal blog.

This blog is for everything else in my life. So what does that comprise?

I've left my job making gazillions of dollars in high tech to go back to teaching, which is basically like taking a vow of poverty, but I'm okay with that for a little while at least. I can do without the stress right now, and have some savings to coast on until I get something that pays actual money a year or five down the road.

[personal profile] stoneself has convinced me to train for a triathlon. I already run, but the swimming is going to be a major challenge as I hadn't swum laps in more than a decade until we started a few weeks ago. My swim form is pathetic, but I'm learning from [personal profile] stoneself and this book called "Total Immersion" This Thursday will be my first time in the pool since buying the book. I'm paying [personal profile] stoneself back by teaching him to run without bouncing.

I play a lot of boardgames. The German kind, not Monopoly. Either you know what that is or you'll have to wait for a post where I have more time to explain it. The short version is that the games are mostly designed as adult level challenges for a social context. Kids can play most of them but often at a very different standard of play, the same way kids can play chess. Some people get really serious about the games and hold tournaments, but I've distanced myself from that world. Stories of when I wasn't so distant from that world can also wait.

I have two kids. Richard is 12 and Moira is 8. I just wrote a bunch about them elsewhere so I probably won't have much to say about them in these pages.

I also play poker seriously. Yes, in a real casino. Yes, for real money like you see on television. No, I haven't been on tv myself, but at the level I'm playing there is a real chance of that next year when the World Poker Tour comes to San Jose.

What else? I read, but not as much or as seriously as when I was in school. That might change as I get back into teaching, but it hasn't yet. I've been renting a lot of movies. I got the all-you-can-rent deal at blockbuster a couple months ago and have been tearing through everything available. That was really cool at first as I went through all the sundance official selections and suchlike. Then I got to the bad movies, and the sparkle started wearing off pretty quickly, save for a little discovery that some good cable TV shows end up at blockbuster, so now I know what everyone was talking about with the Sopranos and Deadwood and a few others. That's about bottomed out too now, so I'm thinking I'll expire my deal at the end of the month.

That's plenty for a first entry. I'll stop rambling and get some sleep now.

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