Movie Update

I’ve joined Netflix. I thought it would be best considering the ALWAYS return my movies late to the rental place here. I’m always getting a pre-recorded message on my phone at home: [scary deep voice] “HEL-LO! YOU have and OVERDUE rental!!...” Plus, they never really have any of the obscure films I like to watch. Netflix is surprisingly fast. I joined on a Monday and the first three movies were in my mailbox by Wednesday. Here's what I've rented so far…

1. Brazil: I confess. I didn’t watch this all the way through to the end. It had the 1984 feel to it but it was too weird for me. Which means it’s pretty weird. I thought the whole thing was uneven, I didn’t really care about any of the characters and I especially didn’t like seeing Michael Palin in a mean, torturer role. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood for it (i.e. I wasn’t high).

2. Winged Migration: This documentary was great. I have no idea how the director got so many up-close, up-in-the-sky shots of these birds migrating. For a while, I was like, “No. Some of these birds have to be robots. They look too perfect.” But there were no special effects used. It was amazing. There was practically no narration yet I was laughing at some parts and crying at others. Really, really good.

Update: I saw “The Making of” for Winged Migration. The people making the film imprinted some of the birds onto humans and got them used to the sounds of motors/fans. Then the camara man just flew in the sky with them. Is that fucking wild or what?

3. Kiki’s Delivery Service: I really like Hayao Miyazaki’s most recent films (Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) because they’re fantasy storied based on Japanese lore and traditions. This movie was just about a 13-year-old witch named Kiki who moves to the city for a year away from home. People are, apparently, used to seeing girls riding around on broomsticks and don’t think it’s too odd to see her zooming around hither and yon. She doesn’t have any talent other than delivering parcels for people. Sad, that. She eventually realized what a sham her existence is and loses her ability to fly (because she loses her self-confidence). Yadda yadda, everything’s all right in the end.

I’m looking forward to the English dub release for Nausicaa (written and directed by Miyazaki) and the premier of Howl’s Moving Castle (next fall, directed by Miyazaki).

Book Update

I got my Amazon order: Sparks: An Urban Fairytale, BOP! (the missing stories from Box Office Poison) and The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. If you want to know more about Vice Magazine, go here but be warned: some of what the cover is gross, graphic, tasteless, shocking, etc… I got the Vice Guide thinking, “Oh, ha ha, it’ll be a laugh and all that.” No. One of their drug articles was basically about taking a picture of different people on various narcotics: crack, cocaine, hash, heroine, mescaline, special-k, etc. Under each picture was a description of what each “volunteer” did while they were high and the duration of the high.

As you can see to left, I’m currently reading Norwegian Wood at the moment. If you’re not reading it for this month’s Book Blog discussion, you probably should. Cuz, so far it’s a good story.

What you probably don’t see to the left are the two awful books I just read. Every now and again I enjoy reading a trashy romance novel. I think of it like junk food- every once in a while is okay. Don’t make a habit out of it because you’ll only get fat and stupid. Besides, it’s not like I’m getting any romance in my life so I read a sordid tale get it all out of my system at once.

So I’m at the bookstore and the author of the only romance novels I actually like currently has two new paperbacks out- the first two in a trilogy. I bought both thinking what a nice break it’ll be to read these before getting into other (more serious) books. Here’s where I made my mistake: I read the first, was mildly satisfied, and then started the second. Oh man, I could feel myself getting stupider the more I read yet I couldn’t toss it aside for some reason. I’d be lying on my bed, reading, and when I got up I’d see some of my brain had leaked out of my ear and onto the pillow. Ugh, this book was killing me. Such is the danger of reading two shitty romance novels in a row. I’m just glad I finished it.

The novels raise an interesting question: Can you still be considered to be a slut if, even though you only slept with one person, you slept with him within the first 2-3 days of meeting him. I’m not talking one-night-stand, we already know the answer that. But the guy is handsome and masculine and blah blah blah and you just HAVE to sleep with him by day two. Slut, right? I mean, you’d totally have to wait longer than that to really get to know him. He could be a total killer. Whatever, these romance novels are completely unbelievable.

Games Update

I’ve been playing lots of games. I went a little crazy over Christmas, giving Barbara and Jason lots of new games (that I’d get to play as well).

Balloon Cup is without a doubt the most played game in my house right now (excluding DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball. Don’t even get me started on what it’s like to have your own personal (virtual) women to dress in bikinis and “rest” by a pool). It’s a 2-player, simple math game. There are a few flaws that have arisen during some of the games (e.g. not enough cards for the number of cubes needed to be collected) but for the most part it’s a very good game.

Next is Carcassonne: The Castle. This is a good two player game based upon the wildly popular Carcassonne. The players are playing within the walls of a castle thing time, building houses, towers, markets and paths for the heralds to walk on. This game feels a bit more claustrophobic than the original (where there are no boundaries to where you can build). The counter for keeping score is cool, as it’s all along the wall border of the game. I only played this once. I think I’d have to play again to get a better feel for it.

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