Saturday, September 25, 2004

Staring at the Mountain

While reading this Chuck Lorre vanity card, I had a bit of a realization: I have no ambition. None at all. If I had an ambition, I suppose it would loosely consist of "don't lose what you have, because you'll lose it anyway, but if you try not to, it'll take longer."

Well, that's crap. That's nothing to work towards, nothing to tell your kids, should you ever have any. "Well, son, your daddy's dead now, but he worked all his life to not lose his pathetic material trappings." So, instead, I'll list all the things I've ever wanted in my life, but have given up on:

Becoming a rock star. Writing a comedy TV show. Eating fugu. Directing a play. Running sound for a rock and roll tour. Proving the Reimannian Conjecture. Getting over this goddam cold. Doing something truly original with a computer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Millenium Actress

I was over at my friend Dragon's place last Sunday. We were going to go see Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, but by the time we got off our lazy butts to leave, it was too late. So we watched Satoshi Kon's Millenium Actress instead. All in all, it's a great choice, and highly recommended.

Millenium Actress follows an actresses' reminiscences of her life and career. When she was a young teenager during the Sino-Japanese War that preceeded World War II, she fell in love with a Japanese activist opposed to the Manchurian occupation. After giving her a key that he said unlocked "the most important thing there is", he disappears. She then takes a job as an actress in a movie that is being filmed in Manchuria to find him, and thus starts her movie career.

The conceit that makes the movie work is that as FUJIWARA Chiyoko slips between the present and the past, between reality and her films, the documentary crew goes with her, sometimes even taking part in actions that occurred before they were born. This technique blurs the lines between reality, fantasy, and history, rendering them indistinguishable, and in some sense all equally fictitious.

This movie is well worth a rent for the non-anime fan, and fans who don't own it by now probably should. It's a revealing look at the lies that underpin our definitions of ourselves, and their necessity.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bend it, Baby

Just watched Bend It Like Beckham, which has just become one of my favourite movies of 2002. The plot is fairly simple: Jess is a second-generation British immigrant from Punjab who's amazingly talented at football. Her parents, however, are very old-school, and do not approve of her doing un-ladylike activities. Hilarity ensures.

This movie is hilarious, not because of its gags-- there aren't really any to speak of-- but because of its characters. Sure, Jess' English friend Jules has a mother who declares, with a straight face, that there's a reason Sporty Spice is the only one without a man, but there are people like that, after all. In one of the extras on the DVD, the actor playing Jess' father declares that after 10 minutes, you believe in the characters. I don't think it takes nearly that long.

The DVD also has a recipe for Aloo Gobi, which looks really tasty. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

#$(*&!ing cats, and home repair

I just called around, and it sounds like I'll have to pay anywhere from $300-$360 to have my carpets cleaned. Freakin' cats. The problem, of course, is that the carpet in the basement has been pissed on six ways from sunday, so:

  • my cats think it's okay to piss there
  • piss soaks through the carpet and into the pad
  • you clean the carpet, and it just wicks the piss smell back into the room.
The only REAL solution is to move into a hotel for a week, pull up all the carpet, paint the floors with Killz, put down new carpet, and then move to Scotland.

But last week I put a hardwood floor in my walk-in closet, and it is nice. And was very easy to put in. But damned expensive. I probably spent > $200 on materials alone, and I still haven't even put in the new baseboard. At least I enjoy this sort of thing, or I'd be bonkers by now.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Getting started

This is more of a placeholder than anything; I'm relatively new to blogging. I've given some thought in the past to writing my own blog software, but decided to give blogspot a try, for at least a while. Mostly, this will be my random blatherings on my life, things I care about, people I care about, and so on. Fasten yer seatbelts, folks, this is going to get very lame very fast. :)