Friday, October 28, 2011

That Which Wants

I want such peculiar little things.
I want to lift my feet when it vacuums,
and do its laundry,
and not mind when it walks in on me dancing stupidly in my headphones.
I wouldn't mind walking with it,
but I don't want to bike with it,
or drive with it,
unless I can ride in the back.
I don't want to share my cat cuddle time
- that's between the cat and me -
but I would love to watch the cat sleeping
on it sleeping.

I want to walk beneath orange streetlights
like a model on a catwalk to the beat in my ears
in the cold night air,
wishing I could reflect the light like cat eyes -
then I would leer at myself in the darkness,
smirk and giggle darkly
that I am that
which lifts its feet when you vacuum,
which does your laundry
and watches you sleep with a cat on your chest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Movie Review: X-Men First Class

Saw X-Men First Class and, boy, do I like it better than those other three X-Men movies... actually, let's forget all about those and pretend they never existed. For all intents and purposes this will vastly improve your quality of life, I promise. It still has its flaws and stuff, but this movie actually manages to feel more like the comics, which is good. It wouldn't be impressive, only to expect, if it weren't for those three non-existing movies that you've forgotten that had directors that knew nothing about the comics. Possibly the first one is watchable, if it existed. So in the shadow of things that do not exist, this movie is impressive. On its own, it's merely a good action movie, that I enjoyed watching. Also because the actors don't suck and actually fit their respective characters, as opposed to... okay I'll stop talking about things you're trying to forget.

I was hesitant at first. Through the first 20-30 minutes I was basically holding my breath, watching the movie do a delicate balance act without safety net where I expected it to fall off and land on its face, and saw its feet trembling. What kept it standing was Kevin Bacon and the Angel of Hope. Then it stabilizes, pretty much as soon as Charles and Eric meet. The two of them balance out like the long stick rope walkers have. Suddenly you have cool X-Men with cool powers that they actually use in sensible and intuitive ways (such as Eric using his body and magnetic powers to press Charles against the floor of the plane when it goes down), as well as character depth (the big one of course being the clash of experience, upbringing, nature and idealism between Charles and Eric - something both actors manage to convey with feeling). And even humor, that doesn't feel milked out of a cow's ass. Woo. Since everything is new and raw to the characters as well it's a lot easier to take in and understand than Magneto and Professor X shouting "you never understood anything" at each other forty years into the future.

A part of my approval might lay with the choices of mutants to appear. Banshee, Havok, Angel (the wasp girl not the bird guy), Emma Frost... they're all cool people, who opposed to people like Phoenix and Wolverine carry a little less iconic baggage which makes them easier to portray and let people focus on who they are rather than who they think they should be. The one thing I dislike about the casting is that they do the good old "only the black guy dies" thing, which feels very old by now, and especially since the black guy in question is a fairly obscure character - taken in only to have a black guy? Being also a noble character with interesting powers, I believe Darwin deserved a better cinematic fate. Rather do what you want and forget about token people. As an Asian, I can just as well go "where's my token Asian person?". Eventually people like that would control your movie. Considering this is set in the '60s, it'd be neither offensive nor unrealistic to have an all-caucasian cast.

This movie could also be called:
Kevin Bacon and the Mildly Annoying Good Guys - but stealing the show is very in character for Sebastian Shaw; it's pretty much been his character weakness all along :D
How Magneto Got His Silly Helmet - and just to be sure he sillifies the reasonably unsilly helmet as soon as he gets it.
But what I really want to call this movie is:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

168 Hours

A week has 168 hours, and despite wasting most of them, I always feel they're not enough. And then I waste some more worrying about wasting so many. So I decided to waste one on something slightly more productive; make a list of how my ideal 168hour week would look, if I didn't have to worry about making enough money and all that.

The first thing that happened as I wrote down what I wanted, was that just a normal week, a real week, on my part, is short 20-something hours even at the best of circumstances. That's mostly because I play too much games and get stuck zoning out or cuddling my cat.

So on with the (roughly calculated) imaginary ideal week then:
Sleep 7-8h/d = 49-56h
Food&Related 2h/d = 14h
Hygiene 1.5h/d = 10.5h (includes an averaged out amount for things like laundry)
Total: 73.5-80.5h (and since I like dreaming, I'm going to count on the higher of those.)
Writing&Related 3h/d 5d/w = 15h
Social 2h/d = 14h
Games&Roleplaying 3h/d = 21h
Other Entertainment 1h/d = 7h (tv, movies, music...)
Excersise = 2h
Travel&Transportation = 7h (too much?)
Misc 0.5h/d = 3.5h (dressing, zoning out, pet care...this is counted generously low)
Information 1h/d = 7h (mail, phone, news, magazines...)
Total: 73.5h 

This makes 154 hours.

Which leaves 14 hours. If I had a little more confidence in my own discipline, I'd set 5h a day instead of 3 on writing, but I'm not sure I could keep that up. And if I could sleep less I would. One hour less per night makes 7 whole shiny hours to do other things with, but only if you're not so tired that you're zombieing through those hours. Travel is so high because I counted on things like visiting friends and family now and then. The leftover 14 hours (or 21 if I slept less) would be distributed on things like writing binges, significant other(s), special occasions like birthdays, appointments, more Misc and so on.

This is, above all, a week that is extremely unlikely to ever happen.

The reality-based week I sketched up ended up only barely making sense if I work/study half-time, which is something I've already realized. I'd have to make drastic changes to myself and my life to manage full-time without going insane and failing at everything like I am right now. Also in reality I've cut away the writing, and of course don't exercise, both of which probably does me more harm than help.

I think I'm going to make a time-sheet and see what I do with all my hours for like a month. If I can keep that up (and keep myself honest) maybe it will tell me some (probably very harsh) truths about reality.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Holding on to nothing.

What's worth ending a friendship over?

My instinctive answer to that is: you can't. If someone was ever really your friend, the two of you will always be. Something might happen that make you not speak to each other for five years, or he or she might turn into someone you don't really like anymore, but if your friendship was at any point true, friendship will always remain there in the bottom. Ten years later when you need something, that friendship will be like a flat +5 bonus no matter what happened in between - even if your friend murdered your parents or somesuch.

But is that true? Or are friends, like any other kind of relationship or alliance, something that comes and goes like the tide as you and the people around you grow and change? Like, today a blue shirt, tomorrow a red? And you never really know anyone, so can you ever really have a true friendship?

And so if friendships can end, then what is worth ending them for? Love? Principle? Self-preservation? Faith? Or is it that you can end friendships - but there is nothing worth that price?

Maybe the question I ought to answer rather is this one: What makes a friendship worth keeping?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to hijack a me.

Just saw a cute variant on the "bringing a knife to a gunfight" saying; "bringing a cop to a superhero fight" :D

I had like twenty things to say when I opened my browser, but after my daily Twitter, Gmail and GReader round I've been overrun with new stalker pictures of Jaejoong, the news that my CD is now on the way, and some very sweet comic pages. Wiped everything else. What did I do before that? How did I get here? Who am I?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My personal favorite is the baseball guy. Look at that S-line! And nothing beats shorts and knee-high socks!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Movie Review: Ninja Assassin

Welcome to the movie review of Ninja Assassin, also known as "A 90 Minute Study of Rain's Abs".

Let me make something clear first; this is not a deep story movie, and those who expected it to be are in for a well-deserved disappointment. However with decent acting and beautiful filming, it flies safely over the dark abyss of porn-quality. Some official or other starts digging into the truth behind a rumor of a secret ninja organization. So we leave the story, because it's standard, and neither contributes greatly or ruins anything.

We have established that it's an action movie. It's also, obviously, a martial arts ninja movie. Let me make another thing clear: this is not a realistic movie. Those who expect that past the first five minutes are also in for a well-deserved disappointment. Ninjas move in darkness like in that horror movie called, oh right, Darkness, and obey the ninja trope of "the more ninjas in one place, the worse they get".

However, taking the movie at face value, I enjoyed the action a lot! Almost all of it is blade-based, very little fists or firearms, and they've done the most of it, with dark moody settings where the glimmering blades and the exaggeratedly red blood are the only focal points. Think Sin City and replace American noir with ninja manga dismemberment á la Blade of the Immortal. I think the stylistic yet semi-realistic violence balances between beauty and grotesqueness in a fascinating way, and I love the blade-on-a-chain weapon and the visual effects it produces.

The Rain (aka Jung Ji-Hoon) whose abs we study is a Korean actor/singer and the reason I saw this movie in the first place. While I openly admit bias, I think he really is a good actor, a better actor than singer, and he's gotten a few awards and remarks from high places. Obviously his acting is hardly put to the test here, but I think what keeps the story together and on level is the performance from him and the big boss, Shô Kosugi.

In summary: I greatly enjoyed watching this movie, and I think all the bad reviews are a little unfair. It's not trying to get the Nobel prize in philosophy, neither is it trying to accurately depict ninjas. I like it a great lot better than many other brainless action movies that have gotten a much more favorable reception. While watching it in complete darkness certainly helped, the way they played with shadows was exciting, and the style of the action as well as the acting quality were very positive surprises considering what I'd heard about it. Together with the added bonus of "A 90 Minute Study of Rain's Abs" (and trust me, heterosexual men, they are a bonus for you as well), it is hovering in the top50-borderlands of Totally Enjoyable Friday Night Movie.

PS. Also don't whine at that all the ninjas speak English. It falls under the "take at face value", together with "how the hell did they get armored vehicles from Europe into the Japanese mountains".

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I will most likely not live as long as any of you, given the state of my body and my lifestyle. (Although I hope the nornir will cut me some slack for not smoking.) I'm telling you because should something ever happen, I want you to know that I don't think I'm missing out on sixty years of health and happiness. That is unlikely.

I'm telling you because a couple of days ago I got a life scare, like accidentally walking into the road in front of a car kind of scare but not exactly that. I asked myself, if I am actually going to die very soon, like a moment or a month from now, can we handle that information? Amazingly my mind answered; "Yes, that is okay. We have written down that story we wanted to write, even if it's not quite polished yet it's out there. So if we must go, we go in peace." (Although to be completely honest, it also said "it would be nice if we got to meet Jaejoong first and tell him eye to eye that he's awesome, maybe he would agree to it if we were dying?) Anyway, I don't mean I think I'm done, like one single story is all I ever wanted, but across these last couple of years I've actually been afraid of dying, only because what if I died before that story I was working on was done? Actually all the way to, what if I get a meteor in my head before I finish the next chapter? Now it's done, so it's fine. It's fine until I get started on another one that I feel as strongly about.

So, universe and everything. If I must go, please pick a time in between stories. And if you're feeling generous, relatively painless would also be nice, and preferably before every muscle in my body breaks from the strain of compensating for my leg being a bitch. I think that's all.

(I realize it makes me sound crazy to refer to us as we when I talk to myself, but look, I (that's one), and myself (that's two), and one plus one makes two. Two is a we. We are not crazy.)