Archive for the 'Movies' Category

First day of a new year

What did I do today? Well last night around 2am I finished Marked. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about the book. I decided to read it because I really enjoyed Twilight. Twilight had it’s issues, sure, but it was a story that I could really get behind. It was paced well, it had a good cast of characters (maybe a little Mary Sue, but even so), and I didn’t have a lot of reasons to complain about the writing.

Marked covers all of maybe 5 days in 300 pages. It was terribly slow getting started and all I wanted was for it to start going somewhere. You know how as you get closer to the last pages of a book, you start wondering how it’s going to wrap up everything in time (I felt that way about The Diamond Age)? Well as I neared the end of the book I started wondering if it was going to go anywhere by the end. The climax was hardly worthy of a novel and all I wanted was to see the story go somewhere. So there’s a sequel, in fact there is a whole series of books that follow this one. I don’t know that I want to go out and buy them because I was so disappointed by this one, and yet I want to see where the series is going. Decisions, decisions…

I slept in and downloaded a bunch of movie trailers.

  • I think 9 looks pretty cool.
  • Dragonball might not be as bad as I initially thought (and Emmy Rossum is in it)
  • Fast & Furious must be better than the last two movies because the entire original cast is back.
  • Fired Up looks legitimately funny.
  • I watched Gran Torino and it was amazing. See it if you can!
  • He’s Just Not That Into You looks like a great adaptation of the self-help book for women. I want to get it and read it actually.
  • Inkheart might be good. Dunno.
  • I missed Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and I wish I had had a chance to see it when it was in theaters. When does it hit DVD?
  • I watched a bunch of others, but I really don’t have much to say about them. [shrug].

I’m going to try to finish Let the Right One In tonight so I can watch the movie tomorrow. It’s okay, not what I was hoping for but an interesting read nonetheless. I seem to be on a vampire stint recently. That’s another thing I disliked about Marked: vampire is spelled vampyre. I’m know it’s a legit way to spell it, but it distracted me from the text every time I saw the word.


My body is a shell?

I was watching Ghost in the Shell while doing some programming. I decided I wanted to do work and watch something at the same time. Having something to glance at when I got bored with my work would help. I got the idea (although it wouldn’t be the first time I had done it) from Rands In Repose:

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he describes how researchers for Sesame Street determined what parts and how much of the show were actually registering with five-year-old kids. What they discovered was that, when presented with toys and quality segments, these children were able to play with toys and remember content from the show just as well as kids who just watched the show.

I can’t really tell how it worked out for me because I didn’t have a deadline and the work was very casual. I’ll have to try it when I’m writing a paper and see if I get any more work done then.

As I was watching Ghost in the Shell (and apparently ignoring my work) I wondered why Motoko felt so comfortable naked. She didn’t seem to mind being seen by Batou after scuba diving nor did she seem particularly shy in general. And then I thought,”if I knew my body was just a shell, would I feel awkward about being naked? Would I really care about what happened to it or who saw it? Would I feel better about the way I looked? Or feel worse?” It was a deep moment for me.

I believe that I have a soul, so isn’t my body just a shell? Shouldn’t I already feel that way? I know that the body is sacred too (it’s in the Bible somewhere, someone else can find it) and therefore it has significance, but I was suddenly faced with w new set of moral questions about body augmentation. Having read Neuromancer I’ve wanted to be like Case. I wanted to be a console cowboy and have a ROM of my mentor that I could jack into and have conversations with. I wanted to float in cyberspace and be able to use my mind to control the computer. Now I wonder if I would really take the necessary steps to augment my body.

I don’t believe in tattoos or piercings on my body. I don’t mind if other people do it, in fact I think they’re pretty cool, they’re just not for me.  If I’m opposed to those simple body mods, would I let someone fiddle around in my brain and add some electronics? Would I abandon my body entirely for a cybernetic one? How much of me is really me? How much can I give up and still feel the same?

It turns out that those really are the themes in Ghost in the Shell. Underneath all the cyberpunk and hacking and destroying  of tanks, it’s a question about what makes us human. If nothing else, re-watching this movie has made it clear to me how insecure I am about my body. I should work on that.

Code Monkey

I’ve known about Jonathan Coulton for quite a long time. I remember I heard the songs Ikea and Mandelbrot Set on an indiefeed podcast over 2 years ago. Podcasting was just getting big and I got into the whole scene for a while. I never really contributed anything (not that I ever do) but it helped me find lots of indie artists to listen to.

Over the last 2 years I played Ikea for a few friends who found it quite humorous. I never forgot about Jonathan but I figured he had given up the whole music bit. How wrong I was. He did a little thing called Song a Week where he made a new song every week and put it up for free on his site. He made some really great songs like Re: Your Brains, The Presidents, and, my favorite, Code Monkey. He is clever, geeky, and all-around awesome so I suggest you check him out.

I saw Live Free or Die Hard last night and it was awesome. It was a really great action movie and I kinda wish I could see it again. There were so many good lines. Maybe I will see it again if some other friends want to see it.

I want an iPhone. Sure its expensive and probably a waste to get it on launch day but I really want one. I’ll be outside an AT&T store after work on Friday waiting in line to get an 8 GB iPhone. I’ll let you know if I manage to get one.

Wow, April was a while ago.

It’s 3 AM so I have to keep this short. I’ve recently been inspired by some bloggers who blog and talk about each other and write stuff all the time. I never thought I could do it. They seem to find the time, however, and since all I’m doing this summer is working I figure I might give it another shot (as I always do).

Tonight I saw Live Free or Die Hard. It was an amazing movie with explosions, hacking, and lots of John McClane. I would have to order the films 1, 4, 3, 2. Its damn near impossible to beat the original (since all subsequent films are compared to the original based on its original merits) but this movie comes really close. In fact, if I was not nostalgic about the original I might put Live Free or Die Hard at the top of my list. It is my favorite movie so far this summer.

I’m sure I’ll talk about this in more detail after some sleep. Work in the morning dictates that I get an adequate amount of sleep prior to waking up at 8 AM. Usually that’s 8 hours or so, but I’ll let it slide on account of the fact that the movie was VERY much worth seeing. Goodnight, and yippee-ki-yay mother f—er!

Last Night

After sleeping for much of yesterday I figured I’d stay up late and get something out of an otherwise wasted day. To pass the time I watched Happy Feet and signed up for twitter. I also tried to read some more of the Decameron but I couldn’t get into it.

A bunch of my friends went to go see Happy Feet when it came out in theaters. They went to the IMAX to see it, and always talked about how cute it was. It was around Thanksgiving and I had just started to date this girl. I wanted her to join us, but she was tired from her trip home so I decided not to go. In retrospect I probably should have acted differently, but there’s not much I can do to change that now.

So Happy Feet has been out for a while now, and I figured I’d find out what all the buzz was about. It was certainly a cute movie but not my favorite. I’m not sure that I would ever sit down to watch it again, but I could definitely put it on in the background.

After watching that, I checked my RSS feed reader and read a post about how it is possible to spoof who you are in Twitter as long as you know someone’s phone number. It really got me interested in Twitter, especially since I have been hearing so much about it lately. After I checked out Twittervision (amazing by the way) I went and signed up. You can follow everything I do here. Or sign up and be my friend, that would be cool too.

Today I plan on doing homework, listening to music, and probably watching a movie. I don’t know which movie it will be, but I’m sure I’ll mention it later.

I took some photos tonight

I’ve been taking lots of photos for the latest SDS production, Little Shop of Horrors, and I was going through some of the photos that I copied to my computer. I was looking at what was on my SD card before I cleared it and I found an interesting photo of me.

It was only interesting because my hair was shorter. In the past I’ve always felt that my hair was very long. I had never grown my hair out, so I had no way to gauge how long hair felt. Well over the last 2 years my hair has been steadily growing longer and longer. I’ve had it cut a few times in between, but I’ve been going for the long hair look.

Looking at this photo vs. how long my hair is now showed a noticeable difference. I wanted to document how long my hair is now so that in 6 months I can look back and take another photo. So I snapped a bunch of pictures and uploaded them to Flickr.

In other news I have a research paper to write this weekend and I’ve been reading parts of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Just the fabliaux. They’re the topic of my paper so I wanted to read some other than the ones in the Canterbury Tales. They’re interesting and I like feeling well read.

I watched A Scanner Darkly for the first time today. I thought it was interesting and I liked the rotoscoped style. I’d like to read the book (as I’d like to read a lot of books) but I don’t have the time right now. It mentioned Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and made me want to read it again. Why anyone would want to read it more than once bewilders even me, but I’d like a refresher. Maybe I’d get it more the second time.

I tried playing a video game today. I haven’t been in the mood to play anything other than Guitar Hero for the last few months so I figured I’d give Zone of the Enders – The Second Runner a shot. I played the first 20 minutes of the game and then turned it off. Maybe I’ll go back to it later.

Infected Mushroom came out with a new CD recently: Vicious Delicious. It is definitely a new sound for them and I’m not sure if any of the songs will join my favorites. Admittedly I haven’t spent enough time with the album to really get to know the songs. Bright Eyes also came out with a new CD. I also haven’t had time to digest that one but I don’t know if I really need that kind of angst in my life anymore. He used to epitomize everything I though I was and how I felt but it’s just not me anymore. Maybe he’s changed too. I’ll give it a few more listens before I decide anything.

Lazy Saturday

I seem to be making a habit of doing blog posts. I get into this cycle where I all of a sudden feel that for anyone reading this, I am the sole source of information they will look to, and if I don’t make mention of something, they’ll miss out. So for about a week I try to make a comment on everything I think is cool online, and post about it, and link to it, and then 3 months later its old and blase and I didn’t really make a difference in the big scheme of things.

To be a successful blogger, you need to be ahead of the curve. Or at least be so with the curve that you are making pointed commentary that influences other people. I don’t have either of those. Just recently I started reading personal blogs, rather then getting all my links from aggregators like digg, reddit, or slashdot. It puts me a little closer to the edge, but I still get all my information after someone else decides whats worth noting.

Do I really want that kind of influence? I don’t know. Probably not. I don’t feel that I’m educated enough in the fields where it matters, and I’m too young for my cultural references to carry any weight. Of course, now that I’ve realized this, I can stop trying to be a marketer, and finally post about things I like. Or in the case of this next point, things I don’t like.

I tried to watch Flyboys last night. I say tried because I didn’t make it all the way through. I got distracted, lost interest, and after that there was really nothing for it except to turn it off. I was really expecting something action packed. I wanted edge of your seat dogfights for the whole film. Give me Black Hawk Down with WWI airplanes and I’m set. But instead it felt like a Disney romance that was an hour too long, with way too little violence. I don’t know who their target audience was, but I certainly wasn’t it. If I had checked the reviews, I probably would have seen it coming.

As a Python fan, I’ve been reading a lot about other high level languages that make development easy. So far Python is still my favored language, but I am always tempted to get my hands dirty and see what all the buzz about Ruby and Haskell are about. I just recently found a great tool for Python that makes testing within the interpreter even easier. IPython. It adds support for shell commands from within interpreter, it has tab auto-completion, and the interface feels more informative and powerful. I am looking forward to my next development project so I can try it out.

I would also like to recommend that everyone get a Useless Account. Yes, its useless. No, it doesn’t have even the slightest bit of purpose. I got a good laugh out of it, and I just wanted to give everyone else the opportunity as well.


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