Tuesday, January 28, 2014

happy birthday to me

That is to say, it was my birthday a couple weeks ago, and now I enter the muck, the deep muck, of middle age. Forty is my number, friends, and I shake my head whenever I am reminded of it. Which is daily, hourly, far too frequently. Who'd have thought 40 year old Hwan would be this? Not me, least of all me.

It was nice to see people give their regards, a gesture not lost on me. Especially those kind few who made the effort to go out of their way to pick something out. I like to think I'm not materialistic in nature but these items I covet, a physical link between giver and receiver.

How else was my January? I helped MJ move out of my place into a new apartment, which took up a couple weekends of back-breaking work and remains a strain on our relationship. I do find myself getting increasingly tired -- I shall sigh myself into the next world, this one too much of a bore. Thinking about it now kills me all the more.

I saw The Pixies at Massey Hall! My first show of theirs, though I've been a fan since high school. Even without Kim Deal they were a joy to behold. I had a middle-balcony seat, giving a removed yet close-up experience. They mixed old and new, and the people danced to the old, nodded along to the new. The opening band, whose awful name I cannot now recall, were themselves forgettable.

MJ and I went dog-sledding this past weekend. Windrift Kennels, the same place I'd went a couple years ago, and we had a blast! The weather did seem colder, so I must make a note here to bundle more carefully next time -- my feet felt like stumps by the end of it. We went with friends, some of whom were a bit underwhelmed. I personally didn't really have any complaints, other than I wished the weather allowed for more photography.

The weather! Egads it is so dreadfully cold out. I picked up a cough at some point, one of those nagging keeps-you-up-at-night coughs, waking up with an alarming amount of phlegm in my lungs. I am disheartened to think that this is the climate we have to look forward to, that people have resigned themselves to this environmental misery.

Well, I have Hearthstone to keep me warm. I have been a playing a LOT of the game. So much so, I've decided to start recording my games, which, if you care to do so, can be viewed here: Laz Befriends. I honestly don't suggest you do so, unless you're actually interested in witnessing me stumble through learning how to play the game. The audio for the first few episodes is off as well, so you may want to skip them. Anyway, I'm going to try to make this a "thing" I do, at least until I get sick of it.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

it's twenty fourteen

One of my resolutions, one of several such odious things, is to post more. So here are some quick movie reviews of films I caught over the past couple of weeks, me having had so much time to myself (but never enough, nay, hardly close to enough):

Tokyo Godfathers (2003): One of those rare Christmas-themed stories that is actually a joy to watch while maintaining a semblance of seriousness, entertaining every minute without resorting to jerking tears. Highly recommended.

Four Lions (2010): A comedy about young terrorist-wannabes. The lamely controversial theme aside, I found this film funny in parts, smiling frequently but rarely breaking into audible laughter. I still am not sure if I should like the ending, though perhaps that's the point.

Equilibrium (2002): Priests with guns and high martial arts hunting terrorists! A dystopian society subdued by drugs! I actually quite liked this one, and wished that they'd the budget to make the film a bit more timeless. Christan Bale stars as Keanu Reeves as The One.

Man on Wire (2008): Fascinating documentary about a man's dream to walk a high wire between the Twin Towers. The film is very aware that the enterprise is much like a bank heist -- the stage must be scouted, examined from every angle, plans drawn, disguises worn, and devices built before the ultimate show. I was amused by how fame affected the proverbial walker.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011): Food documentaries often drive my appetite for their subject, and this movie succeeds well in this respect. Oh, to taste a pre-brushed, artisan-prepared serving of sushi! Though who knows, perhaps such a thing can never live up to its photoshopped image.

Manhattan (1979): I have to admit, I have an uneasiness about enjoying any Woody Allen work in which his character dallies with a much younger woman. Still, it's hard to be critical of a film so funny, so beautifully shot, so full of great dialogue, so very aware of itself. My affection of the city was handily revitalized thus.

Dredd (2012): I read some positive reviews of this film, that it was worth a glance but I found it more forgettable than anything. The gadgets and one-liners might appease fans of the comic, I suppose, but they had little to offer me. I feel like the whole "psychic power" thing unnecessary and/or underused.

Only God Forgives (2013): I cannot forgive this film for looking great while being terrible. Drive was miles better than this, this assemblage of brutal violence and uninterested goons.