Monday, June 30, 2008

Miracle Fruit at the office, Jays game, Wall-E

When you use the bathroom to wash your hands, do you often find that your bladder decides to, er, chime in? Is it because I know I'm in a bathroom, or is it maybe the smell that triggers some response? If I enter a room that I don't think is a bathroom but has all the trappings of one upon entering, will my peeing instinct kick in?

Just got back from riding around that Humber Bay Park East area, sticking around the bridge to watch the sunset -- pastel purples, pinks and blue. I could barely perceive the shadows moving across the Toronto skyline, which I'd not seen before. A bit of exercise to take advantage of the lovely, very reasonable weather.

People sampling fruit
Enjoying post-pill fruit
I did go to work today, an otherwise pretty quiet day. Nice to be able to tinker on long put-off side projects, without the constant grind all up in mah grill. Yeah. We did have strawberries and champagne, which was nice.

OH! Last Wednesday my miracle fruit delivery finally came in, and on Friday we had a little miracle fruit ex-taste-aganza! The effect was strongest with lemons -- they definitely tasted as if they were dipped in sugar. Limes and grapefruit were somewhat sweeter, but just not in the same league as the lemons. Strawberries tasted rotten, as if they were fresh from the garbage bin. A lot of people noticed the green apples being very nice, but I didn't see much difference. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves so I guess it was a success. The funny thing is, later on at a bar I asked the waitress if my Guiness had been substituted with another beer because I found that it had a distinct fruity, grassy flavour to it. Unfortunately I mentioned that I had taken a "pill" earlier in the day that may be interfering with my ability to discern beer flavour and I went pretty much unheeded after that.

View of Rogers Centre from a sky box
View from the suite
Saturday was a fairly full day for me. I saw the Jays game in one of those luxury suites -- open bar, buffet and snacks all paid for, as well as a couple hostesses to serve them to you. You share it with about 20 other people, but you do get 4 bathrooms which is nice. UNFORTUNATELY, my former boss was there (not one of my troublesome ones), who I wanted to say hello to but I'd forgotten his name! We never made eye contact so I'm not sure if he saw me, though he was with some work lackeys I recognized, lackeys I'd also forgotten the names of. Oh well! As my friend said, he didn't say hello either.

This is a long entry, so just bear with me here. After the game I watched Wall-E, the new Pixar film. At first I was quite reluctant to see it, it being what I'd considered a kids film and likely a schlocky Disney cute-fest. However, while cuteness did abound, I must say I was very impressed. The sound effects and animation were top notch -- I easily got a feel for textures of surfaces, they were so well presented. And the story was neither contrived nor formulaic. Dare I say it was original and well worth watching? I just did! Definitely something to see on the big screen.

Whew! Ok, that's enough for now. Stay tuned, naysayers!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hate Dundas Square, being boring

I neglected to mention that I met up with Growl Saturday before the dance thing. We had some Korean BBQ (eating like emperors) before walking around downtown, taking in the city as flaneurs are apt to do. Dundas Square has become even more of a teenage hangout than ever before: a PG-rated, blinking-billboard walled consumer arena, a coliseum of gaudy, tactless flash. I've ranted about it before, and I'll continue to do so as I continue to feel so. Dundas Square is pretty much a commercial zenith, a tribute to all that is awful with capitalism, cliché as it sounds.

Am I the only one who thinks of themselves as boring? I often hear the question "So what have you been up to?" or "Have you done anything interesting lately?", and really, I pretty much always have little worth mentioning. Does that make me dull and unstimulating? Is it that I've become comfortable with routine and thus avoid the adventures that come with inexperience? Perhaps these "interesting" escapades are overrated.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Drinking, show contemplation, dance performance

Yes, we've all had too much to drink this past week. Blame the weather! Can we blame the weather? The week seems to have zoomed right by, between drinking and blaming the weather.

Tuesday Loopy and I met up to film a possible video podcast (or, as we old-timers would call it, a "video"), which is based on diggnation.com. Will you be able to see it? Well, it's nowhere near public-viewing readiness, and won't be for a while, so.. not yet. I will say that, despite the anticipated pressure, it was a lot of fun. I now see why people drink before shooting. Makes perfect sense.

I went to see a friend's dance show, which turned out to be a much bigger thing than I'd imaged. Around 30 dances, many quite energetic and exhilarating. I liked the fact that many of the dancers were amateurs and you could see their personality come through their expression and body language. I have also been inspired to put more time back into getting myself into shape! I mean geez, some of those dancers were just so incredibly athletic, it made me weep for my wasted life!

Yeah, I should carry around some paper to write interesting things down. And then, in a few years, I'd have enough to make an entry. For example, I'm never buying blackberries again -- way too many seeds!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Last Man on Earth, The Departed

I neglected to mention that, the other day, I saw Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth, a film based on Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. Not so much based as copied; seeing it would definitely ruin the book for you, which provides a far superior experience. Nay, this film was laughable for its production values and voice-over acting. Still, I suppose for 1964 it isn't too bad. Even as a fan of the story I kind of regret seeing this adaptation.

Now The Departed... hmmm aye here's an interesting tale! I don't mean that the movie was great, rather I refer to the question as to why it is perceived as such. I say this not to court controversy or the like -- merely that I didn't think The Departed was all that it was made out to be. Suspenseful, yes. Very much so. But great great? I subscribe to the idea that an ending can save a film, as well as undo the merits of everything before it, and I just was not satisfied with that ending.

Once Upon a Time in High School, Father’s Day

Ugh, had a strong cup of coffee after a late dinner and so here I be, typing away like a not so happy camper. Father's Day dinner with the family, to be precise -- Korean food and far more dessert than five people can realistically consume. I spent much of today cleaning and cutting strawberries and blackberries, listening to The Office in the background.

Oooh.. suddenly got a bit tired there for a second, which is good.

Saturday I watched the final bits of Once Upon a Time In High School: The Spirit of Jeet Kune Do, a movie which, like many Korean films, moved a little all over the place. At the heart are two stories, the first concerning the relationship between Hyeon-su, the new kid, and Woo-shik, the cool leader, and Eun-ju, the beautiful girl they both fall for. Secondly is the trials of being a military-styled/run high school, complete with daily beatings and rankings or seniorities, a system that breeds resistance by its very existance.

Being all over the place is not such a bad thing really -- it just makes the film difficulty to categorize, as I find most Korean films are hybrids of several genres. Coming of age story? Certainly. Teenage love, rebellion? Yes. Harsh criticism of scholastic system? Absolutely. A reminder of a time come and gone, the darker period of a military government? Indeed so. Martial arts beat downs? Yup. Most importantly, was the film good? Yes, yes it was, but I need more time to digest it. I don't have a specific favorite scene or two which is strange because I did like everything I saw.

Ok, finally ready for bed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

veal, Life on Mars, work

I can't help it, I enjoy the taste of veal. Yes, I know it's the meat of forcibly emaciated baby cows, a fact my vegetarian friend reminds me everytime he sees me order it. To which I reply that I bet it would be even better if they raised the cow in space, where it could grow to be extra tender and soft. Perhaps in the near future vat-grown space-meat will be all the rage. And I will be there, fork and knife in hand.

Looking for a fun good-cop/bad-cop drama, set in 1970s Manchester, with a dash of Wizard of Oz? What makes Life on Mars so great is the banter between the two head cops. Ah, who am I kidding? Gene Hunt makes the show great.
Sam Tyler (describing Gene): ...overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding.
Gene Hunt: You make that sound like a bad thing.
It's only 16 episodes (8 first season, 8 second season), but they're an hour each so you need to take your time digesting them.

Another steamy hot day. You could say that I have been working happily away in my air-conditioned office, but you'd be wrong. Our a/c was on the fritz, giving the place a decidely tropical rainforest quality. A miserable-making miasma, more like it. Like I wasn't cranky enough with the lack of sleep from not being able to sleep yesterday. Why? No reason! Seriously, I don't know why I couldn't sleep.

Pushes my sanity, it does.

hot summer days, upset about copyright

Hoo, the weather is tediously hot and humid. As someone said to me over the weekend, it seems like spring didn't even happen, that spring and fall are getting shorter every year and the uncomfortable extremes are around longer and longer. Thankful I am that I have an air conditioner at home. I do try to use it sparingly, but I can only bear so much.

I was out most of this weekend: Friday at The Hideout on Queen West then the Charlotte Room, Saturday at Bayview Village, Cherry Beach then Rol San and today at College Park for my Korean tutoring then Trinity Bellwoods. Uncomfortable sweating each day! Once I start perspiring, the rest of my day is fairly ruined until I can shower it off. What rot!

Also rotten? The new Canadian DMCA, which supposedly includes a $500 fine per download. Have you also heard of the upcoming ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which could give border security the power to search your iPod and other personal electric devices for "illegal" files? What the hell! Seriously backwards stuff I kid you not. I'm already super upset with Bell for their shaping/filtering of net traffic. We could be living in a golden age of information and enlightenment and creation, but instead we are burdened in a mire with slimy greedy wretches and blind, ignorant sloths, unable to move and sinking and stinking. They are taking away our freedoms and we should be slapping away their sneaky paws. Think about it -- spending government time and resources to inconvenience everyone just to find copyright infringers, a copyright system that is quite outdated and does not at all reflect the interests of anyone but the large media corporations. So very sickening, I weep for this sad time in history.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hikaru no Go, watching hockey, blog thoughts

I still do not quite recall what I was up to last Friday. I've been told that I was at work late playing Go, but that doesn't explain what I did later that night. I assume my not remembering is for the best. Was I up to no good? Most probably!

Speaking of go, I finally finished Hikaru no Go, which indeed ends abruptly, doing its best to wrap all the strings in the alloted 23 minutes. I heard that the reason for this is that the creators felt too much pressure from Korean go fans/players who argued that no-one would believe that Japanese players would beat Korean ones. Sheesh, I mean really now. Those whiny Koreans, always complaining that they're being stomped on in cartoon series. Losers, they are!

I watched Game six, Detroit at Pittsburgh, at the St. Louie's off of Spadina, just north of Queens Quay. Why do I patronize such places? I'm all about eating healthy and less meat now, yet there I was, up to my elbows in wings and ribs. True, it was a thrill when Pittsburgh would score and the game, though one-sided, had its moments. I did end up riding home slightly tipsy.

I do have coherent thoughts, trust me. It's just... maybe I'm too easily distracted or something that prevents them from being properly conveyed in written form. I sometimes wish I could also add quick drawings to what I write. Perhaps I should get in the habit of doing so? Hmmmm... an idea to be sure.

Ok, I've been meaning to change the front-page of hwan.com for a couple days now, to get it more in line with most blogs webjos. Namely, I'm going to change the default view to show a handful of entries, instead of just the last day's worth. This should make hwan.com look busier, while costing me little in terms of entry-writing.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ride for Heart, a2chow's housewarming, King of Kong

The Becel Ride for Heart was a success! If, by success, one means that it happened, that it didn't rain, and that I rode hard and didn't injure myself. Downside was that this year our merry little band did not manage to stick together, which is lamentful. Everyone seemed to otherwise enjoy themselves, which is important. My writing abilities at 1:36 in the morning? Rueful.

What did I do Friday night? Hmmm.. I really do not recall. I know that Saturday I went to a2chow's loft housewarming -- Mill Street beer, penguins, toys, music. But wow, I really do not remember what Friday was. GEEZ what the hell? I know I didn't drink, because I was still kind of ill from Tuesday's and Thursday's indulgences. Was it a movie? Oh man this is bothering me.

Anyway, yesterday, Sunday, I watched The King of Kong, a documentary about the lives of world champion classic arcade game players, who otherwise lead adult lives.

Jillian Wiebe: I never knew that the Guinness World Record Book was so... I never knew it was so important.
Steve Wiebe: I guess a lot of people are... yeah, a lot of people read that book.
Jillian Wiebe: [while directly looking at Steve, her father] Some people sort of ruin their lives to be in there.

The film does take a few jabs at these characters, but only because they really seem so unreal. The ego! Of course one ends up rooting for the new kid, the challenger to the high and mighty throne. I enjoyed this film from start to end, and would eagerly watch it again.

Blast it to heck, let me think about Friday.

Convoy-age

I absolutely hate how the world is shaping up, just a frog boiling slowly in greed, misinformation, and lack of critical thought. I don'...