Archive for December, 2007

No Country for Old Men

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I forgot that I also saw this movie while I was in Tampa. All I can say is, that it was awesome, but definitely leaves you a little down. If you get it. The main hit man is all kinds of scary cool. I want that gun he carries.

Soul Calibur 4 Artwork

Some nice stuff as usual. And Cheap-surugi! http://www.creativeuncut.com/art_soul-calibur-4_a.htmlsc4-mitsurugi.jpg

Tampa Calling…

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So, as my previous rant about my airport trip stated, I went to Tampa for a really short weekend. Not much to report, but I did take a few pics…some of you may recognize the people in them. Other than that, it was good to see what I missed about the place…which wasn’t much other than a few people. It’s weird how 4 years can change people so drastically. The town had changed a lot too, much more developed, rednecks paving over the swamp as fast as possible. Good times. I got to eat a tasty “Cuban Sandwich” though,(something I miss, but shouldn’t eat if I knew what was good for me) and cruised around the town, and actually got a little reflective. What was the lesson I learned by living there? What did this part of my life’s journey represent? An interesting peak of paranoia, loneliness, and failure(In my life). As the sun set over the gulf my first night there, I truly felt like I was in-between universes. Like it had all been a strange and unpleasant dream, and it seemed to make perfect sense that 911 happened shortly after I got to Tampa, marking an unpleasant transition into a world that was vaguely hostile, and openly less pleasant.

And it was really fucking hot and humid for December.

The pics are of my apartment complex when I lived there, the docks next to them where I hung out and got bit by mosquitoes and missed home, Ybor where I used to get drunk, and some of the peeps still in the f-l-a.

I took pics of the loan company that is now in the building where Crossgen was, and some other stuff, but you guys have no connection to that what-so-ever.

Picture of the Day

Don’t actually know if there’s some manipulation going on here, but it is interesting to note how just turning a picture upside down can produce visually interesting results. Click on the image for a slightly larger view.

Hot Damn.

Japan brings the best of all Christmas gifts. An honest to God return to form with a true Macross sequel. All doubts will be erased once you listen to the end credits.

Hey you California Cadres: Randy and I are coming out to do a belated Christmas thing with his parents. We’ll be in Covina and parts nearby from Jan 8-15. We have specific plans on the 12th and the 14th, but otherwise nothing really specific, and we wanna come down to SD at some point. Y’all want to get together for lunch or dinner sometime? My cellphone: (404) 660-1825.

Homer would be proud

Butter your bacon? Bacon your sausage?….
Uh-uh. Not even Homer Simpson thought of this:
bacon your cookie!

bacon cookies

I think the Death Lean is in order. Happy Holidays!

I wanna look inside!

Was recommended this by Amazon. Color me intrigued:

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If any of you see this at a bookstore, please thumb through it and let me know what is inside. I am seriously interested in knowing what this book’s focus is on.

Propaganda

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Someone is offering up a set of propaganda posters inspired by the new Battlestar Galactica series. They’re not bad. Referencing post-modern/industrialist art, they seem to capture the mood of the series (which I haven’t seen…sorry). The one sore spot is that one with the Cylon woman. Absolutely no attempt to remain consistent with the artwork of the other posters featuring human beings or their parts (hands in this case). They should have found another way.

Occupational Hazard
Occupational Hazard

Victor Navone, animator extraordinaire over at Pixar, and overall genius, posted a short article on work ergonomics on his blog. All of us here spend 75-80% of our day in front of the computer, so we all face similar hazards. And as we’re no longer spring chickens (me being one of the oldest “cocks” in The Cadre), maintaining good ergonomics is no longer optional. Anyway, head on over to his blog where he links to some good articles about it:

http://www.navone.org/blogger/2007/12/ergonomics.html

It’s him…really II

From the set in Mexico…lady and gentlemen. Meet Dragonball’s Goku:

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Oh, I get it…orange and black. Yeah. That’s him alright.

Airport security-4, Roach-0

Well, this last weekend I made the trip to Tampa to visit the place that I lost at least 45 points of sanity. Somehow, on my way to Tampa Airport security -missed- my all purpose leatherman tool. I of course forgot it was even in my posession, since I always carry it with me because you never know when you’ll need a pair of pliers….

Fast forward to the end of my trip. I left a place called Bahama Breeze to take my friend Deena back to Clearwater where she lives, which is about 12 miles from the Airport, starting to get a little nervous because I have about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make it to the car rental place, grab a shuttle, and get to my plane. I drop Deena off, and tear out of her neighborhood. Then I hit the 19. A major highway on the west side of the Bay. It took over 10 minutes for the light to change for fuck-sakes! And I was in the wrong god damned turn lane!! Sweet anus of Elvis! I had to turn back around and wait another 10 minutes for traffic! And now, rush hour was starting….

I hit every light from the 19 to the 275(where the Car rental place and airport are) and got to Alamo at 3:40. My flight was leaving at 4:15. I pulled the Chrysler convertible Sebring into Alamo, and the guy comes out and goes, “hey, could you pull up to the front over there?” Pointing to the other side of the HUGE complex.(really, I’ve never seen a car rental place so big…it was about the size of a Target store) I shot him a look of pure fucking panic and just said, “Dude, my flight is going to leave in like 20 minutes, please for the love of God can we do this here?!” He ran over and printed out my reciept.(Thank God I filled up before taking the car back, but that was part of the reason I was late…) The whole time he was checking the car I was watching people climb aboard the shuttle, and the burley black driver load the bags…until there were no bags…then the rental checker guy(rental agent?) gives me the ok and the final receipt, and I tear out to the shuttle just as the doors are closing, and squeeze in. There are 6 other people on board and the driver takes down which airlines they’re going to, and I’m thinking, holy Christ I’m screwed. He drops off the 1st guys, and they have like 5000 golf clubs, fuckwits. Then he accidentally passes the next airline, so I get a break and I’m the next one off. It’s 3:50 when I cruise into the Airline desk. I look frantic, so this older, very terse United agent asks me”which flight are you on” I say “4:15 to Denver, please tell me I’m not to late.” She goes, “Yeah I think you’re too late, stay right there.” Then she leaves the line and goes behind the desk…doing nothing. I’m confused so I stay in line. Then this dude runs up and goes, “I’m on the Denver flight, which way is it.” and she smiles and goes “Gate E-75 sweetie, up the escalator and take the tram.” I was like, areyoufuckingkiddingmedidthatjusthappen??!?!! I stare at her saying audibly, “Are you fucking kidding me?” And the 2 people in front of me are asking about what kind of snacks are on the plane…I was tempted to be arrested.I wander up to one of the empty E-ticket monitors and put my visa card in. It spits it out and says -Too late to board this flight- So I jump back into line. I finally get to the grumpy mustached agent who studies me with a completely bored look on his face and I go, “I’m supposed to be on the Denver 4:15 flight, I think I missed it.” He goes yeah, well, I can print out the tickets and you can give it a shot.” He prints them out and gives them to me, tells me the elevator to get on and I bolt to the Tram. I rush through the terminal, and get my I’d checked, and get on the tram. I feels like it takes forever, but it’s like 45 seconds to get to the departure terminal, where security waits with open arms. There are about 15 people before me, but things seem to be going ok, I quickly take off my shoes and dump my bags(I had to take both, no time to check in a bag) but forget to emty my pockets…BEEEEEEEEPPPP!!! “Sir could you…” “Yeah, yeah, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” I empty my pockets, and have to give the Homeland security dude my info….behind me I hear “Bag re-check” And I’m like fuck! I have like 10 minutes! They run my bag again I’m sweating profusely by this time, and I look super nervous. Another mustached, gloved agent grabs my backpack and looks at me and goes “Do you know what’s in here?” I go, “ummm sure, of course…” He looks dead at me and goes, “You know what’s in here, dontcha?” And kind of chuckles. My mind just gets unreasonably terrified for like 5 seconds(I don’t know why, I was just like freaked out) and then I remembered just as he said: “the leatherman utility knife…” I was like Oh, yeah! awww, man, are you going to keep that? He was like “well, you can write down you address and for 10 dollars we could…” “No, no, I’m like super late, I have 3 minutes to -maybe- catch my flight, enjoy it…” I grab my stuff and toss -all- of it into my backpack and run like hell to(of course) the last gate in the terminal. I run up and see a ton of people and I’m thinking, shit, they’re already waiting for the next flight…I go up to the guy in back and go, “The Denver flight left already?”(It was 4:18) He turned and laughed and goes, “Man, we haven’t even begun boarding.” I turned and walked past a few people who were staring at me.( I was frantic, sweaty, and had run all the way through all of them) I went to the drinking fountain, then I sat down and waited for us to begin boarding. I was glad that the flight was delayed, but not so glad that it was delayed because of mechanical problems in Denver, and then mechanical problems in Tampa…there’s nothing like the thought of the plane that’s broken patiently waiting for you get on board…and 1/2 of us had to board outside the plane up a ladder that was literally 2 1/2 feet away from the door, so I had to pull a fucking Indian Jones jump into the tail section, and on the way up there were three dude under the plane with tools looking worriedly at each other and one of them FUCKING SHRUGS AT THE OTHER ONE LIKE, I DUNNO, BEATS ME? What the FUCK!!

But I made it back.

So, the list as it stands:

$ 35.00 Torch lighter

$45.00 Buck knife

$? Pirates of the Caribbean replica black powder gun

$30.00 Leatherman style Multi-tool

I love traveling. I need a personal assistant to keep me from being a retard.

-JR

Blockbuster Impressions

While on the flight to Bangkok, I had a chance to sample two films that were successes at the box office recently. I won’t go into any type of review. There are enough of them out there. However, I’d like to share my impressions.

Die Hard 4.0
Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be. The plot points seemed fairly well researched, if not exaggerated. Hollywood always seems to think that technology works without hitches. The villain seemed to be drawn more than two-dimensionally, yet still prone to monologuing. My biggest problem with the film is the man himself. John McClaine has become the thing to which he was the anti-thesis when he first appeared: the do anything superhero. After the umpteenth time of him getting shot at, falling from great distances , driving every imaginable vehicle while being crashed into, etc., then standing up to take on more, I just stopped worrying…and caring.

Transformers
Saying the film was bad or good isn’t accurate. I think the film failed. I think it failed at being all the things it tried so hard to be: a coming-of-age teen film, a high-octane action film, a tech thriller, etc. Forced attempts at comedy, romance, drama, suspense all fell flat. This is the filmmaker’s fault. The film affirms that Bay has not been able to shake his roots in commercials. He directs snippets, most of which don’t stitch together cohesively. By themselves, they might be impressive, but as a 120 minute whole, it fails. Oh, and the robots? Feh, whatever. The minute Jazz started acting like some b-boy, I gave up.

Goosesteppin’ Gap

An early “picture of the week”. I found this image to be oddly disturbing, which is why I am sharing with you. I added the “GAP”, but the photo manipulation is quite good.

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FPS

I downloaded a FPS (first-person shooter) demo on my PS3 a few days ago and tried to play. I had such a hard time getting a bead on the enemy and died so many times before even reaching any type of checkpoint that I have come to realize that I no longer have the “twitch.” That is to say, I’m too old to be playing shooting games. Sigh….

Coloring workshop come and gone

Well, that went…well?

When they told me my workshop was going to be recorded, I expected a guy with a handheld. Then when they told me they weren’t sure it would be recorded, I relaxed. Then I walked into the office — and there was a frickin’ FILM CREW there. Fuuuuuuuuck. Cue instant (but quiet) panic and an almost overwhelming flight response.

But I kept it together, despite a crucial missing file, despite my completely disorganized reference DVD, despite having to work on someone else’s machine (with a GIANT 30-inch Apple flatscreen — good god, that was a thing of beauty) — and I think I did all right. Well, no. I didn’t. I was all over the place, despite a well-organized if incomplete workbook. I skipped over crucial information, had to go back, forgot to use key phrases that really drove the points home. I’d say that I was off-kilter about half the time. Cue cards? Forgot they were there.

After about five minutes, though, I started to forget the camera was there. People started to ask questions. Good questions.

Let me stop here and say this: Suresh Seetharaman, the head of the art department in India, is a brilliant artist and a pleasant, articulate, intelligent man. I really like the cut o’ his jib. He really helped keep the theoretical discussion alive. Not that I felt like I was floundering; he basically reiterated the point I’d just made in a different way, and we found ourselves on the same side of the conversation, his position from an academic standpoint and mine from the practical world. I would liken him to a favorite professor.

Of course, I have no recollection of what I actually said. Like, AT ALL. I’m sure I’ll look over the video of the thing and think, “My god, did I say that? Ugh! Scrap it all! I sound like an idiot!”

Everyone seemed very happy with the results. I think they’re all being too nice. Seriously. If I watched me give that seminar, I would be like, “uh, hey, prepare much?”

But. Whatever. The worst of it is over. There’s still a ton to do, like finish the workbooks and the voiceovers for the DVDs, but by and large, the worst part is done.

I haven’t slept in days, and I just got a reprieve on a deadline. I think I’ll go take a nice hot bath and  a nap.

Thanks for all the kind words, y’all. When I get the second draft under way, I’ll post excerpts.

– Laura

It’s him…really. *Updatedx2

I guess Entertainment Tonight had a sneak peek at the Wachowskis’ “Speed Racer” recently, revealing Matthew Fox (LOST) as Racer X. It also gives a glimpse at ol’ Speed himself. Here’s a screencap:

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Sigh-I ever thought a live action adaptation of this anime would ever be good. But now the stench of its ultimate suckage is beginning to permeate the air.

**Update**
USA Today Online has the first official pictures here:
Link
Looks like someone is trying to make it look like an anime. Baaaad idea.

**Update2**

TRAILER’S UP
Yup, looks like an expensive version of Journeyman

Returned

Got back from Bangkok early yesterday after flying on a late night flight. Had a fantastic time. 2 and half days was certainly not enough and I will definitely be going back. Just some things that struck me about Thailand and Bangkok:

  • The temples are absolutely gorgeous and no picture can do them justice when seen in person and in detail. Our early morning tour assured that these fantastic structures were lit by wonderful morning light.
  • Thai people are enormously friendly, helpful, and honorable. They try really hard to make sure that you enjoy their country and culture.
  • Thai massages hurt like hell, but in a good way. I now know I have a slight masochistic sensibility.
  • Thai food in Thailand is, naturally, delicious but hot as hell. But in a good way. Again, the masochism thing.
  • Bangkok mass transit is easy to use, modern, safe and far more tourist friendly than anything Tokyo has. Rumiko and I were quite embarrassed by it. As should every Japanese who go there.
  • The new Bangkok International Airport is a gorgeous piece of modern architecture. Furthermore, being new, the government seemed to address problems being faced by airports around the world with regards to security vs. convenience. I have never gone through Immigration, Security Check and Boarding so smoothly in all my travels.
  • Open air markets are great places to find bargains…if you have a Thai person with you. Otherwise, always, always ask for the price first before expressing interest in an item. Lesson learned the hard way.
  • Being in Bangkok reminded me so much of being back in the Philippines. The smells, the malls, etc. were reminiscent of things I remember from my home country; minus the beggars, crooked politicians, and filth.

Anyway, there are so much to see and do that our schedule just didn’t allow for anything other than a surface experience of what I feel to be a rich and deep society and culture. Will post pictures soon, but I came home to a bunch of job proposals so I will take care of those first. To be continued….