Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bonus Blog!

Two Blogs for the price of one!


First up, I’d like to make an addendum to my very fist blog. I went to a Tower Records last night to get some Christmas presents. LJ was looking for a gift for me when she noticed something that she had to show me. At the risk of revealing my gift she drug me over to the rack she had been looking at and pointed it out to me. It looks as though someone in Oahu has been reading my blogs and taking note. There before me was a copy of two of the same Rob Zombie albums. One with the, ever present, parental advisory logo and another with an “Edited” sticker occupying the same space where the parental advisory logo would be. I couldn’t believe it. This store had made sure it labeled each CD that came into its store if it was edited for content in any way. Kudos to you Tower Records.
Now could we just talk about charging $18.99 per fricking CD? What the hell?


I went to see “Ocean’s 12” the other night and was let down. Not by the movie but by the trailers. “Ocean’s 12” was great for anyone who cares. No, the trailers were weak to say the least. Not their editing or sound, or anything to do with the way they were presented. It was just that more than half of them were movies I couldn’t even consider seeing. There was a new Keanu Reeves movie that looks like shite on a stick called “Constantine”. And then there was a Brad Pitt and Angelina Jollie action crap called “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. Watching these previews I couldn’t help think about how the industry gets away with showing below average fare with high-end action and making a blockbuster. It doesn’t seem right.
I imagine a movie now-a-days begins with a meeting of the production company execs, maybe some special effects guys, and a tarot card reader. The execs would start with “Ok, we need a summer hit, we can budget $100 million on stars, wardrobe, locations, and special effects. We can’t do any more sequels this year or remakes of old 70’s-80’s TV shows or the public might know we’re out of ideas. Lets do a film…um…lets see…about…a modern day witch who lives in Manhattan and has a day job as a cop with a troubled past and takes care of a young boy who is a martial arts genius”. At this point the special effects guys chime in with “yeah we can do magic/bullet-time with a bit of Spider Man-esk CG people for those really difficult stunts.” The production execs nod knowingly then ask the fortuneteller what Variety might say about their movie once it comes out. Finally, someone asks “Hey, Who is gonna write this piece of trash?” To which everyone laughs and says, “Write? No one in Hollywood knows how to write. Maybe you should go back to shooting your, gay ass, low budget Indi-films if your gonna insist on ‘writers’ being involved.”
Maybe I’m being harsh but it just seems like most of the movies out or coming out are primarily sequels and remakes. Not to mention some movies seem like they are shot only to provide witty, or not so witty, one-liners that an audience can watch in a trailer and get psyched up about. Or maybe just so Matel can crank out as many toys as possible BEFORE the movie even hits the theater. How many of you are tired of seeing a movie video game out before the movie? I still see some of these films, how can I not when they are the only thing out? However, I love going to see a movie that is different and new.

Donnie Darko
Boondock Saints
Royal Tenanbaums
Cold Mountain

How to loose a guy in 10 days
The Scorpion King

In the Bedroom

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Not too Interesting

My birthday was last Sunday and my wife got me this great present. It’s a joystick, much like the old Atari ones, that hooks up to your TV and has five old games on it. PAC-MAN is the first one. So I am playing it and my roommate Mike starts to as well. No more than a day later we are both glued to the TV playing PAC-MAN in rapid succession trying to out score one another. He’ll through down the gauntlet by scoring 1,000 points higher then I’ll break it and the cycle continues. This kinda brings back a sense nostalgia for the old Atari but also its just fun to sit there and play this silly game and trash talk each other.
I love gaming. But I have also found that I love gaming with other people. This is a revelation for a guy who has always been a kind of loner. I remember playing R6 with Courtney when we were roomies. That was fun and addictive as well. I also started playing games with my wife. It’s amazing how gaming is geared towards being a singular pastime but can be a fuller, richer experience with others.
Eh, this is going to be a short blog. I’m suffering some serious writer’s block and this topic is getting old quick. If anyone out there has some good topic ideas throw ‘em this way. Until later cats.
Oh, and Mike will want you all to know that currently he has the highest score of 42,000 or near that, however I got some bad news for you my friend I am closing in fast.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas Values, as told by Sinjon

I used to drive around a lot with my Dad when I was younger. I worked with him every day most summers and sometimes during the rest of the year when I had time or he needed help. We would sit and talk about everything from politics, art, religion, relationships, etc. I always like talking to my Dad too because he would use analogies or a short story to make a point. I would sit there in the passenger side and ask him a question and he would sit quietly, like he didn’t even hear me, and maybe five minutes later he would respond with a well thought out articulate answer.One of the stories he told me when I was younger was about these two guys and goes like this…

This guy was a writer for a car magazine and was well paid. He wasn’t a rich guy but one day he was able to buy an old 1940’s Ferrari. He wasn’t wealthy enough to drive it around, he probably couldn’t afford the insurance, but that wasn’t the point of the car. To him this Ferrari was the most beautiful thing on Earth. He and his friend would sit in chairs on his back porch drinking a beer and looking at that car every day. They would just sit and talk about how perfect that car was. One day though the sun was shinning down in their eyes so they decided to move the chairs to the other side of the car. As they sat there they noticed that the front fender was at a slightly different angle than on the other side. They went and checked it with a micrometer and then a ruler. Sure enough the Ferrari had a slightly different angle on both fenders. They checked the rest of the car as well and noticed small imperfections throughout the rest of the body.

Ferrari’s in the 40’s were hand made. They were not built on an assembly line by machines. A master craftsman manufactured each piece of the Ferrari painstakingly. So it is likely that the car is not perfectly symmetrical. In fact you could buy a 1980’s Honda that is perfectly symmetrical but it, of course, would not be as beautiful as this Ferrari.

So, the friends discussed it for a long time that afternoon and decided that the imperfections were what made this car as beautiful as it was. It was in fact unique.

The lesson here is two fold. One, this taught me that you have to not only look at something for what it is but how much time and energy went into it. That is the true measure of the value of something. And two, Uniqueness is a quality that can and often does get overlooked.

When I asked my Dad one year if he liked the models that I made him for Christmas or his birthday even though they themselves weren’t worth much (maybe $12.00). He said that they were worth much more than what I thought. When I asked why, he said that I needed to take all the hours that I had spent building the model; all the skill that it took in painting and shaping it. Then imagine how much the model would cost if he had paid me hourly to build it. Thinking back on that now I realize that I have never been able to afford a gift equal to the few projects that I gave to my Dad.