Friday, October 15, 2010

vote pie to the face

Oh what? Rocco Rossi has pulled out of the Toronto mayoral race? How is that whenever I start warming up to a candidate they pull out and give their support to Smitherman? Is the fear of a Rob Ford-Toronto that strong? Well maybe. The scary part of course is that Ford has even gotten this far. Or am I misguided in thinking this? Apparently a disturbing number of Toronto voters think so. I just can't tell what's reasonable anymore, that's how messed up, how incognizant the voting situation.

So, I guess I'm now aiming to vote for Smitherman for Mayor and Pam McConnell for my ward, Ward 28. Unless of course you want to talk me out of it. But I'm not sure that I want to vote for Pantalone? Would he be better? Damnit why are all the candidates such losers? Argh!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

films!

Movie time again! This time, an indulgence into "guy" films, though have I ever really strayed that far from the genre? Perhaps it's the cold weather, or the mind-numbingness of work, or the feeling that my life is accelerating away, like so much sand squeezed from my hands.

  • Food, Inc. (2008). It almost turned me off meat -- chicken, pork, beef, all of the scariest meats. The film highlights well the fearsome food-making machine that is the Monsanto Company; they are wicked and everything they touch is death, carefully formulated blight.
  • Inception (2010). Indeed, I saw this only a few weeks ago in the theatre but I still feel like talking about it. Or rather, mentioning that I loved it On an unrelated note, what's up with all these YouTube comment spammers? See for yourself! I think y'all know my opinion of them; may they suffer horribly, each and every one.
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). My love of the Aubrey-Maturin series led me here, to a fascinating true nautical story, in a time when trips to other continents, while explored, remained perilous adventures. I enjoyed the acting, the sheer presence of Laughton and Gable, but the music and the whole Tahiti section detracted from what was otherwise a fierce battle of personalities and revenge.
  • Pan's Labyrinth (2006). Here's the thing about this film -- its original title, El laberinto del fauno, could be translated to "The Faun's Labyrinth". But no, they decided to call it Pan's Labyrinth, and so for the first half of the film I kept thinking "When are we going to meet or learn about this Pan character?" before I made the connection. Frickin' Hollywood, eh? Visually delicious, elsewise.
  • Paprika (2006). I was actually kind of let down -- I thought it was supposed to be this super creative anime about dreams and the like, but I found that aspect to be unoriginal. Perhaps I'm spoiled by all the good anime I've ingested over the years? The soundtrack however was excellent, right up my alley.
  • Patton (1970). I remembered a friend of mine in high school who was into all things military mentioning the film as one of his favourites, and, here, only some 20 years later, do I find myself agreeing with him. George C. Scott is George S. Patton! That opening speech sets the tone very nicely (the video in the link is reversed left-right, but is otherwise of high quality).
  • Serpico (1973). Corrupt police officers and, by extension, corrupt police departments, make me uneasy. So it was with wrenching hands and wide-eyes did I enjoy Serpico. I also love the sounds of those 1970 films -- so crisp the footsteps! Trivia: When Pacino asked Serpico, "Why did you do it?" Serpico replied, "Well, Al, I don't know. I guess I would have to say it would be because... if I didn't, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?"
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009). Guy Ritche + Robert Downey Jr. + Sherlock Holmes = you can pretty much guess the rest. I thought Rachel McAdams, though always radiant, was a poor choice for his muse; no Sherlock in any universe would choose her Irene Adler.
  • The French Connection (1971). One of the greatest, most exhilarating chase scenes in movie history (so I've read). I really warmed to Gene Hackman's Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, a bulldog of a cop. And I mean, who doesn't like to see the French get hunted down? Nobody.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

thinking of going green; found a wasp; Risto's wedding

Yo. I shall try to quickly summarize things, for those wondering what's up with the Hwan: This past weekend, I did the Thanksgiving thing Monday with family at my aunt's new house in North York. The kids (my sister, her boyfriend and me) got a demonstration from my uncle of some of the products that his business is offering, throwing in some entertaining (though tragic from a business sense) stories of the difficulties he's faced in getting sales off the ground. Saturday I hung out with Loopy, visiting a magic shop, playing with an RC helicopter and playing 10PinShuffle, one of the nicer iPad apps out there -- it's one of those games that works so well on the device. I may even drop the $4 and get it, it's that good!

I also joined Live Green Toronto, and hope to take part in, uh, something soon! It sounds like you mostly just stand around being helpful and give information to people about the programs available, pointing out ones relevant to them. I mean I guess it's something, and something to get me out of the house.

And speaking of the house, I found a wasp in my office! I was using the computer, as I am wont to do, when I heard a tiny buzzing coming from the desk lamp. To my dismay I saw that it was a large wasp (about the length of my thumb), somewhat dazed and unwilling (or unable) to fly. I covered it up with a transparent plastic dome (one of those bins that pre-mixed salad comes in), and, after observing it for a while in fascination, placed inside a spoon with some honey on it. The wasp did seem to take to it at first, but I could see that it was still fairly disturbed and despite my intermittent blowing into the dome and sheer force of will, it became more and more sluggish and dazed until it became rather inanimate after two days. Perhaps it died of dehydration? I am saddened by the idea that it died slowly, thirsting for water, unable to adequately swallow (digest?) the honey.

Last Sunday I attended Risto's wedding in Fergus, a small but beautiful wedding, with lots of handmade crafts and personal touches. The ceremony was performed outside, under a tree, with the reception held in a nearby converted barn -- picturesque, serene, unpretentious. It was good to see the old crew together, though the number of small children served well to remind me of the passage of time!