Saturday, May 31, 2008

Birthday Facts

Jean's birthday fell on this week, so we did Juan Colorado for the meal treat. Renee had deep-fried ice cream for dessert! Oof.

Forgot to mention earlier when I gave it to her, but I got Jean an iPod Shuffle, so she could use it when she was working out. She seems to like it, though she finds the earbuds irritating as they continue to slip out of her ears.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Avenging Fist

Lisa lent me this DVD, with the assurance that it was awful, and right up my alley. Right on both counts, Lisa! But with extra emphasis on the awful. Man, was that a klunky 'plot'!

Anyway, thanks for the movie, I'll get it back to you at the next gathering.


Running up on the end of this month's eMusic credits, so I grabbed a bunch in one fell swoop:

  • The Quintet - Charlie Parker

  • These Are Jokes - Dmetri Martin (comedy album)

  • The Great Miles Davis, Volume 1

  • Hanapepe Dream - Taj Mahal

and two more from Rodrigo y Gabriela:

  • Ixtapa

  • Stairway to Heaven

Iron Man

Jean took me and three proto-teenage girls to see Iron Man today. Thanks to Alan, I knew to wait through the complete credits for the Easter egg at the end. Much fun. Thanks, Jean, for the movie. Thanks Alan, for the heads up.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Current Anime

Since Tom wondered if I'd caught any of this season's crop of new anime, here's a list of what I'm watching:

I sampled a number of other items, such as Vampire Knight and Monochrome, but rejected them after a couple of episodes. Others I read a synopsis of and just decided "meh".

I'm still occasionally watching an episode of some of last season's shows as well:

  • Ghost Hound

  • Persona: Trinity Soul

  • Kaiji

  • Akagi (really just an earlier predecessor of Kaiji)

And one live action romantic comedy:

As always, I watch these shows in dribs and drabbles, and reserve the right to lose interest without notice.

Indy IV

Saw the new Indy with Tom and Alan last night. It was a satisfying return to the franchise. The movie ends with a tease of the audience: will the 'crown' be handed on? No! Just kidding folks. And thanks for that!

Afterwards we had dinner at Rose's Deli, and the conversation was fun as always. I learned that Adam, who I see very seldom, as he lives in Washington, is now planning to get married. After I got home, I discovered that he'd sent me an email with that very same news. Needless to say, I'm very happy for him. Good wishes go out to him!

Teh Internetz!

In keeping with Teh Internetz EULA, I post my annual cat picture. This one has actually been sitting in the camera for about a month, so enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Jean gave me a list of plants that she thought Renee might get her for Mother's Day. So after the movie we drove to the local garden store and ran through the list with a helpful employee. We returned home with a banana plant! Jean was surprised, despite the fact that she'd suggested it herself. Turns out she had been thinking about a dwarf house plant, and we brought home a 'bush' that the garden store employee said should reach eight feet in height. The literature says more like fifteen feet. It is planted out back in Jean's garden now. We'll see how it fares in the summer, and the winter.

Speed Racer

Renee and I went to see Speed Racer, the Wachowski Brothers' live action adaptation of the old anime series, at the local IMAX theater this morning. Even though we went to the first showing of the day on a Sunday, the theater was near 70% full. I've read a couple of reviews, which were not very flattering.

I didn't watch Speed with as much devotion as Astro Boy when I was a wee squirt, but I watched enough to have all the salient plot points down, and to understand the general pattern of the show, it's 'story mechanics', if you will. And from those remote memories, I have to say that the live-action adaptation was pitch-perfect. It was not a slavish imitation. No, that would have worked less well than the current incarnation.

For instance, in the original American adaptation of the Tatsunoko Productions series, American voice actors adopted a frenetic style of delivery to keep up with the rapid Japanese scripts. There is a single scene in the live-action movie where the primary villain delivers a speech to Speed with that headlong machine-gun style, and it works well as a call-out to the original corny series. But the brothers do not attempt to sustain this dialogue style throughout the movie. And that was the right decision.

I won't start enumerating all the little ways in which the series was captured in the movie, or the ways in which the movie struck out on its own, but only observe that they did a great job of fusing the memories of my childhood with the more modern technological and pop culture elements of the world expected by the majority of their audience.

See it. Really.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Last year for my birthday we drove all the way into Hillsboro to eat at Syun Izakaya. This year I decided to stick closer to home, so we ate at Mugi. Sushi again! Boy is that a fun restaurant. Renee and Jean both had cooked meals, but I had the raw fish, and of course, yamaimo. Yum, yum!