Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cinematic Connections

This past weekend, Jennifer and I were looking for something different to watch and came across the channel HDNet Movies.  It’s one of the few non-pay channels that doesn’t have commercials.

The movie that was on was Thoroughly Modern Millie, and semi-musical comedy set in the 1920s.  It was full of stars with Julie Andrews looking like she does and Mary Tyler Moore looking gorgeous as she does.  Carol Channing does her thing, and I actually recognized a song she sang from when my parents and we saw Carol Channing at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

One of the subplots behind the romance-seekign of Julie Andrews as the title character is a Chinese run white-slavery ring being run out of a hotel for single women.  The hotel manager and her two henchmen drug women with no family connections (basically those who won’t be missed) and ship them off to a brothel in a nearby Chinatown.

The mind-blowing thing for me was to find at the end of movie during the credits that the two men listed only as Oriental #1 and Oriental #2 were Jack Soo (best known as Nick Yemena from “Barney Miller”) and Pat Morita (who’s been in a TV show and a movie or two).  And we never recognized them during the entire 3-hour movie

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fifteen Years

Fifteen years ago, yesterday, I took a woman on a picnic.

It was a brave endeavor as it had been raining every day since the rainy season began.  And as it turned out it would for almost every day through the month of February.  But January 25, 1998 turned out to be a beautiful sunny day with big fluffy clouds all around the San Francisco Bay Area.

I took her on a visual tour of the city.  On the way in, we stopped at Treasure Island to admire the view.  We also went around to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and up to Twin Peaks.  Then we headed down to Golden Gate Park and enjoyed what I had prepared: shrimp cocktails, pork tenderloin with rolls, and Grand Marnier chocolate mousse.  While we ate, we admired the tiny daisies growing in patches around the lawn of the park, and we were visited by a gopher who would stick its head out to watch us, and then hide when we looked at him.

After eating, we went to the Cannery, and walked around for a bit.  Then we headed back to my parents' house, with a stop at Treasure Island again to see the city all lit up for the night.

The next day, we watched the Super Bowl eating salmon with dill sauce, and before she left to go home, we had our first kiss.

Yesterday, we were in the city again, this time for a dentist appointment.  We parked in our usual spot behind Kennedy's, and walked hand in hand up Columbus to Washington Square Park.  Afterwards, we had a mid-afternoon meal at Burger Meister.  Then we drove home.

I still have a picture of that woman from that day on my desk at work.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Violence Inherent in the System

Of the past five movies that I’ve been to see in the theatre, I expected three to be violent.

Yes, “The Hobbit” was violent, but that was CG fantasy stuff.

“Skyfall” while violent, was nowhere near as extreme as the first two.

“7 Psychopaths” was more violent than I expected, but it was placed more to be surprising.  The violence itself was not too extreme.

“Gangster Squad” was no nearly as violent as I anticipated, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The violence comes at the very beginning, and the rest is very typical movie style stuff: gunplay and fisticuffs.

“Django Unchained” was a gory splatter-fest that I almost couldn't handle.  But as many have said, it’s just too long.  The desire for it to be over just compounds with the length of the movie and the over-the-top violence.

But then what am I looking forward to seeing next?  “A Good Day to Die Hard”.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Little Things

Over the past few months, I've been trying to memorize the periodic table of the elements.

Yes, really.

It's not for any real reason, I just thought I'd pickup a personal challenge.  And it's certainly not been easy.

I've been working through it learning one lien at a time, and I've gotten stuck.

Now I'm good through Argon (18), that's three lines.  But to complete the next line I have to double the elements that I can recite.

So, I'm working on it, but we'll see.

I do have an urge to learn the etymologies of the element names now though.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Books I Read in 2012

So looking back at 2012, I apparently made some time to read.  I read 58 books in a year which makes me feel pretty good when I add it to the things I read online, not all of which are comics and jokes.

I did recently start the original Dune by Frank Herbert, and am presently halfway through.  I've been enjoying revisiting the whole arc of the Dune series, and was surprised at the writing style of Dune after not having read it for a couple decades.  I've been criticizing the prequels for jumping around in characters' heads from paragraph to paragraph, but Frank does it as much as his son and Kevin Anderson do.  SO I guess they are following his style more closely than I thought.

So last year, I read the following books:

A Blink of the Screen - Terry Pratchett - *****

BTW, this is post 1,000, so I've got that going for me as well.

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