Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Violet Hill

Coldplay has been one of my all-time favorite bands, and they're coming out with a new album this year. Hurrah! But, they have a lot to prove to me this time around. My tastes are changing with the advent of online radio and albums available on torrent sites. I'm falling asleep as I write this (4 in the morning, anyone?) so I'll keep it short. I just downloaded (legally! via their website) they're latest single and it's been on repeat for a about the sixth time. Maybe it's because I miss Coldplay, but so far so good. My first impression is that Violet Hill sounds like a marching anthem. I'm not listening to the words, just the melody and the thump of the drums. I really enjoy this marching feeling and the guitar riffs are un-Coldplay-like. Great change of pace. If it weren't for Chris's voice, I would never have recognized this as a Coldplay track.

March on. For reasons unknown, march on.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's the Colors, Duke, the colors!

I'm going on record to say that Speed Racer is wack. How can the whole selling point of a movie (based on commercials and advertisements) be that no other movie has looked like or moved like it? Really? You're going to tell me I should watch this piece of crap because it's so sparkly and no other turd will shine as bright? The movie looks pretty-- I'll give you that. But the visiuals look hardly ground-breaking. I know the Wachowski brothers did some new photography technique, but it's not translating through my television. Maybe in the IMAX theaters I can see a possible difference, but I hardly doubt regular theaters can convey this supposed awesomeness. First of all, I feel like throwing up. You can't put all those colors on the screen and not expect us to get sick. It's a damn racing movie. Look at Pixar's Cars. Arguably the worst Pixar movie ever, and it was about cars. Coincidence? 300 was a great movie to experience through IMAX. It was very stylized, but Speed Racer force feeds us all this visual stimulation. 300 was highly stylized. The color pallet was highly varied. Beautiful. Maybe Speed Racer will prove me wrong, and I hope so. I hope the story elevates the visuals to kick my butt so hard.

Until then, my bets are on The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Extended Vacation

Actor Gary Coleman is getting a divorce. I'm not here to make fun of him. So he's short, big deal. Well, maybe big is not the correct term. I'm pretty sure he has a condition, so we'll leave it at that. Plus, who am I to make short jokes.

The thing I want to point out to you is the fact that he states that he has no friends. In fact, his wife says that that is one of the problems she has with him-- that he has no friends. How is this a reason you can bring up in divorce court? You married the dude, and now you realize he has no friends? I'm a little scared now for Coleman (no pun intended, though it's quite funny). How can you have no friends? Even if you change the definition of friend to a broad term meaning acquaintance, you should have at least one. I think I'm scared because I feel like this could easily be me. I know I at least have one friend. Check out my facebook page! (Note: Social Networking sites are not really a good indication of how many friends you have.) I know I have at least one friend, because he or she is the one I can hang out with with no strings attached. I can feel comfortable around him or her.

But I don't think I confide in my friends. Hell, I don't even confide much to my brothers. Don't get me wrong, we can do fun things together like when the family goes on vacation, or we can play video games. But we don't have deep conversations that talk about our personal lives. Why? I dunno. Maybe I was raised to repress emotion? No, that's bullshit. How can I be a coward and blame my upbringing. Bottom line is I keep to myself a lot. I can hang out and do this and that, but I'm not killing myself over the fact that I'm not going out this or that weekend. I can enjoy myself perfectly fine during those perceived droughts.

Maybe when I move out (or If?!) I will be forced to be more social or open. But I think I might actually just be more of a loner then.

Well, I just need to get my priorities straight right now, which is finishing up the teacher program, so I can get back into the classroom. And this time, when I get back to teaching, I hope against all hopes that I won't chicken out and quit. You're allowed to quit once, right? The second time, I'll just have to work on improving or figure out a way to distract from the stress. Maybe I'll just save up enough and put it all in a high yield savings so that I can retire early. Why am I thinking about retiring early?

My "passion" for the sciences will have to "temporarily" be put on hold. (Heh, and what exactly has it been doing the past two years? Hmm?)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No End In Sight

One of the biggest mistakes in this Iraq war (besides the obvious reason for it, planning, and execution) was the disbanding of the Iraqi military. I just finished watching No End In Sight, a documentary about the quagmire that is the Iraq war. I am not an expert and I definitely do not know everything about this subject, but from watching this film I can honestly say that we, the U.S., first of all, had no business being there. Unless of course you are talking about Oil.

Why do I think the disbanding of the Iraq military was a huge mistake? If you think about it, the film makes sense, the people in the Iraqi military have no other form of livelihood than being int he army. That's where they make there money. Getting rid of this just pissed them off and made them run to their hidden weapons cache. Not able to provide for their family, fueled fundamentalist ideology. There was already no order, look at all the looting and property damage. Just imagine the libraries and museums with priceless artifacts of, not just Iraqi history, but of human history.

Weirdest thing was that some Iraqi generals-- those who had command over their soldiers, thousands of them, offered to US officials their help to secure the country. God knows we needed their help. This was their country. They knew their people. They could communicate with them, and they understood what they wanted. But we pissed them off and instead of giving "democracy" took away their chance to participate in the rebuilding process.

We didn't even have a rebuilding plan.

Well, this is just a rant. I'll admit I was in support of the war at the very beginning. I guess you can say I was like Senator Clinton. I actually bought the whole nonsense of the Iraqi regime's link to 9/11. I remember arguing with my friend "what about the weapons of mass destruction! Saddam is going to use them!" I was just a pawn in the Bush Administration's war machine. I guess they wanted oil. His whole administration is just fucking up.

So what happens when Iran or North Korea goes nuts? Where will I be? Will I stick around for the draft? I am now fully anti-war. I can't live with making the mistake of backing a "preemptive" strike. The enemy has to literally be on our shores, or else I will always have some doubt. There needs to be diplomacy first.

End Rant.

And private security contractors are evil. Just watch the documentary.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Am I a Girl?

I just saw the return of new episodes of Gossip Girl. It was very "meh" in the beginning, but I really like how they're defiling (not defining) innocent Jenny. Don't get me wrong, I would never want someone so sweet to turn to the dark side, but this makes for good television. It's great to see Jenny and Blair go at it. Towards the end I actually thought Jenny and Nate were going to start developing a romantic relationship, but it turns out Jenny likes to use people. I wonder if Nate sees it that way. So big ups to the Jenny versus Blair wars.

When is Eric coming out of the closet?

I actually have an idea of who "G" is going to be, just because of my trolling through television blogs. This could definitely be interesting to see if "G" could bring the dark side out of "S". Wow, Gossip Girl is sort of like Star Wars where anyone can go over to any side. Let me see. Jenny is Anakin and Blair is or was her mentor, Obi Wan. Now they're against each other. Ooh, and the force can be considered sex appeal, which everyone uses to get what they want, except if you're on the light side. Then you just stay monogamous and nice and lovey dovey like "S" and Dan. Gross!

By the way, I think this show is making me gay.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Live Blog: American Idol

9:50 pm: Bullshit on Jason Castro being safe for another week. I can't believe how huge a fan base he has that he has survived this long. I don't think he can sing or perform even remotely well. I really, really don't like him. If you switch Kristy with that douche, then I think you have the correct safe foursome. We'll se in a couple of minutes.

9:53: Back from commercial break. Who is out?

9:54: WTF!? Syesha is safe?! If Kristy is out tonight, then that's a whole boat of irony. The first time that I actually enjoyed Kristy, that she might leave.

9:55: Damn. Irony. Kristy did great last night. When is Jason Castro going? Please. I think Kristy will do well in the country genre. Hey, she's pretty and can sort of hold a decent note. If she doesn't become mildly successful, then "oh, well".

9:58: Simon Cowell is so gay. How can he sit there and look weirded out when Kristy is singing to you. Just at least sit still and pretend to enjoy it. No weird eye rolling, please.

9:59: They cut her off. I'll give her props though-- she didn't fall apart tonight when singing out. I'm surprised to say this, but I'll miss Kristy. It seems like I'm liking all the people I hated on before. But I will never ever like Jason Castro.

10:02: I need to know how to actually "live blog".

Always Be My Baby

You need to hear and see this.  Unbelievable, that I can see this for the second time and get goosebumps.  The arrangement is perfect.  David Cook impresses vocally, but more importantly, there is real emotion in the performance.  I would have never thought in a million years that a male performer could pull off Always Be My Baby.  This definitely needs to be a single because I want it now.  Amazing arrangement of an already great song.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

That's a Number One Hit

Wow.  I take back all the horrible things I've said about David Cook.  Out of everything I've heard on Idol, his version of Always Be My Baby is making me seriously consider getting it on iTunes.  It was so good.  The violins and everything just made the song soar.  I can imagine listening this to this on repeat on iTunes.  You have to understand:  I really didn't like his other performances that much.  Sure, Billie Jean was pretty good, but I just really didn't get him.  That's fine.  But, this performance was spot on.  I hate to say it, but I agree with Paula that this song could be on a motion picture soundtrack.  To add to that, I loved this song when I was in 6th grade or so, and to have it be remade and still love it says a lot about what David Cook did.

Of course, I definitely have to put Mariah Carey on legend status for being such a phenomenal song-writer.  To have all her songs stand up today and even be rearranged shows her legacy.

If David hadn't blown me away, I would have made this post about how Kristy Lee Cook really impressed me.  Seriously.  She is definitely moving up on my book.   I don't know the name of the song she performed, but I agree with Mariah, it gave me goosebumps.  I didn't think Kristy could genuinely make me enjoy one of her performances with no strings attached.  No flags and no country ho downs.

David Cook was far and away the number one tonight.  I can see why some may say he has the number one spot locked.  Kristy was number two for a sweet and genuinely enjoyable performance.  I'm almost not angry that Malubay is gone.  But if you think about it, I don't think Ramiele would have added anything to a Mariah song.  But I still love Malubay.

I'm actually surprised that my favorite going into tonight, Carly Smithson, was not even in the top three for me tonight.  I hope she's still here next week, because she has some chops and her other performances should be evidence enough to keep her on top.

Bottom Three:  Syesha, Jason, Brooke White.

I'm hoping either Jason or Syesha are voted off.  But with Michael Johns having left, it's always a toss-up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ghetto Hospital

I had the funniest thing that's happened in a while happen.  My brother is going to school to become a nurse and he has a test tomorrow.  Part of the test involves doing some testing on a live patient.  So he needed to practice on someone and I was available so I was sort of coerced into being his guinea pig.

He started with checking my breathing and my spine for I don't know what.  I had to hunch over with my shirt off while he poked at my spine.  I couldn't sit still for the first ten minutes because I'm not used to being touched at the back.  I guess I'm very ticklish.  So I had to figure out a way to suck it up.  My mom came down and told me to just put my own hands on my back so that it would make it easier.  Now I'm sitting down with my shirt off and my hands trying to reach for my back, still slightly jittery every time my spine was poked. 

My bro couldn't get it right.  So him and mom started yelling at each other.  She came over with her own cold hands and started prodding me.  They're both prodding.  Surprisingly my mom is quite strong and I think I almost fainted because she was jabbing me at certain pressure points.  I guess all Asians do know some form of Karate.

Then my brother had to check my blood pressure with that contraption that everyone is familiar with.  So no big deal, right?  Well he checks my right arm.  Gets a reading.  But has to check my left arm to make sure (It's in the manual).  But he accidentally punches me in the face when taking off the thing-a-ma-bob.  Then when he does my reading for the left arm, he wonders why my blood pressure reading is different from my left arm.

Then there's more poking.  And then he has to use tape to mark parts of my back.  He uses some tape, but I'm so pasty white that he has to use extra tape so that it stands out.  He tried scotch tape and then some band aids and what not.  So he leaves this on me for an hour because he had to take a break to review the textbook.  But then he almost forgets that I have tape on my back.

Let me tell you, it's the anticipation of pulling off the tape that was more painful.

Are nurses suppose to curse out patients?  Visa Versa?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Catching Up: BSG season 3 episode 11

I think I hate Laura Roselin.  I sympathize with Baltar's situation.  Sure, he was a sucky president on New Caprica even before the Cylon occupation, but what was he to do when the Cylons approached him-- approached the entire human race?  In my eyes, he only had two options:  defy the Cylons and die on spot, all for what?  Or, he could have worked with the Cylons, which he did.  It kept him alive and possibly all the other humans.  Seriously, if he just defied the Cylons, sure the humans would have had more respect for him, but for what cause?  The Cylons would have just become the rulers or placed a different dummy president instead of Baltar.

Lose-lose situation.  I don't think Baltar should be blamed.

I have a similar argument for Jammer.  He was trying to work peacefully with the Cylons.  But I guess he did have a choice.  He didn't have to join the security force.  So maybe I don't feel too bad that he was sent out the airlock.

And to the situation of this particular episode.  Four base stars could have easily taken down Galactica.  No question.  I don't think Galactica should have had any say on the situation.  I guess the Cylons are just dumb machines after all.  ("Oh, wow.  Galactica's going to shoot all of its nuclear warheads?"  The Cylons should have the same number-- times four!)


I guess it's about an hour later. I seriously nursed that drink. Doesn't matter. It was okay. I have a small buzz . . . at least, I think I do. I nursed it while I uncharacteristically perused my Facebook page. I really hate it, but recently my shut-in status has forced me to keep "in touch" digitally with various acquaintances.

Don't you find it weird that there's an ebb and flow to the status of your relationships with people. One minute you think you're friends and then the next you're barely even strangers. I'm not saying something bad goes down between you and them, but just that you can never keep them close. Maybe it's just me. Never good with any sort of relationship.

It's also weird how Green Apple flavored vodka makes you a tad insightful. Or it could be because I'm listening to Meg & Dia with a buzz. I used to be able to drink a bit before I became this introspective.

No Matter.

Maybe I really should have gone to that M & D concert. Well, it was an Angels & Airwaves concert with Meg & Dia as openers? Guests? I just didn't have anyone to go with. Next time. Next band, I will definitely go regardless of my companion situation.

I will still rock as hard in the crowd. Here's hoping that I follow through with this new decision.


The Best Day of 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today was definitely the first beautiful day of 2008. I can feel the depression of the prolonged winter starting to fade away. It's about damn time. Only the spring/summer can get make me feel better (what with the being unemployed and unsure about almost everything in my life).

Right before I sat down to write this post (0214 hours on Friday), I spied my parents' Smirnoff Green Apple. It says it's a vodka (of course?) with a touch of green apple. I only know green apple from those lollipops and jolly ranchers. I like it on those items, but oh my god this drink tastes like crap. I thought I was so cool mixing it with orange juice to make a screw driver, but the green apple was too strong. I think if I didn't taste the green apple then that would be the perfect taste. I can't stress enough how crappy this drink tastes. If you're a non-drinker, just trying this will turn you off from any drink. Some people say that beer tastes like crap. I say you just gotta try different beers and build your tolerance. You will find your niche-beer. You can go your working man route or go for your imports-- many choices. But vodka shouldn't taste like crap. That's why I just mixed in another part of orange juice. It actually tastes acceptable, now.

Or maybe I'm just so light weight that I'm feeling a buzz. Hmmm?

I miss being social. I do enjoy my alone time and I don't know any other way, but I do have good times when I'm around "friends" and friends, so in a way, I miss those days. Maybe it had to do with me being employed and having expendable income. But more importantly, I was in contact with more people. Now I'm just a shut in. That's why I'm hoping the summer makes things a little better. It can at least make it feel as if everything is gonna be okay.

It's almost as if I'm just a wandering zombie. I don't feel any highs any more. The lows I was feeling when I first left my job have become so commonplace that I've even become numb to them.

I will never say that I regret quitting/resigning. It has given me some perspective to what I need to do (i.e. get back to work). I at least know that I took a chance at leaving my job and I know how it feels to be at home and unemployed while the rest of the world passes by. I think I can endure the crap I got from work better now. Hopefully, I find a better school and I can grow as a teacher and not let the kids get to me. It's either that or be this bum-zombie I am now.

That's why I think the sun and warmth can help me. Summer in the city is the best. I can get lost in the crowd and just wander and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Whatever. Just needed to vent. I don't regret. I just have to look forward.

And maybe stop being so damn lazy as my parents say. True.

...oh, and American Idol sucked hard tonight. I can't believe Michael Johns is gone. Inconceivable. Everyone else, with the exception of Carly Smithson, pales in comparison. I will definitely be looking forward to Michael's future work.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Hand Says "Give Back".

I can't believe how corny David Cook's performance was tonight. I'm talking about how at the end of the song he shows his hand to the camera and on it he has the words "give back" written-- you know, in the spirit of American Idol Gives Back week. So corny, that I almost felt bad for him. I'm not particularly a fan of David Cook, and it's nice to see that he is human and can have bad performance. I guess his smug style got to him and his performance suffered. Really. He could have just let the writing on the hand thing go. However, I actually didn't hate his song choice. It finally took some guts to pick something out of the blue. I think in his mind, David thought he would hit one out of the park with this performance. He probably thought that the idol gives back theme, combined with what he thought was a good song, topped off with his corny hand would create this cataclysmic performance that would continue is dominance week after week.

Ironically, I'm gonna start toning down my David Cook haterating (not a spelling mistake). When someone does something embarrassing (and corny), you can only let him go and just be. David Cook is off my shit list.

But, the other David (Archuleta) is still on. I really, really, don't understand how he can just coast through and be so frackin' popular. He has had bad performances people! Why can't you see that?

Jason Castro is temporarily off my list this week since his Somewhere Over the Rainbow was not entirely horrible. God, I hate it when the performers I don't like week after week finally make a good song choice and perform it well. That's why Kristy Lee Cook is still in it. She's milking America's natural resource of flag-lovers and Evangelical Christians. Maybe those two groups are the same? And once again, I actually liked Kristy's performance. It was one of her best. (No, that American song she sang last week with the flag in the background wasn't hot. It just struck a chord with certain peeps.)

So Kristy gets a reprieve this week from my list. So then who is on my list if the top two shit-listers have a break this week? My apologies go to Syeisha and possibly Brooke. Can I put David Archuleta in my list, please America? Well, if Arch refuses to be in the bottom, then Syeisha and Brooke will have to do. Syeisha because she seems to have this I'm-a-diva attitude about her. It's as if no one likes her. She only got along with Ramiele. But she's on my list mostly because of her boring performances. She is a very good singer, mind you. But she always chooses the songs of phenomenal vocalists. I mean, who can do Whitney Houston justice? If you perform that and a Fantasia song, you have to be awesome.

Brooke White was my favorite once. I really, really liked her. I don't NOT like her. I just think she's getting boring and possibly annoying. She always seems to be nearly in tears with each of her performances. The thing is, most of her performances aren't really tear-jerkers. They've just gotten boring. She has an oldie voice. Sorry, Brooke. I know it's probably who you are, but I don't think you're cut out for this business.

If anything, please keep Michael Johns and Carly Smithson on American Idol, America. Sure, Carly might have had a rare off night. She has always been on point every week, but her performance really did come off as angry.

Fox News Alert

I always hear about the right-wing bias that Fox News has, but I never really witnessed it firsthand. Well, I don't know if you can consider what I am witnessing right now as evidence, but it still says something. There are three major cable news networks here: MSNBC, CNN, and of course, Fox News. Right now, around 2:50 pm (EST), General Petraeus is facing congress. He's supposed to talk about the progress of the surge of the US army in Iraq and whether there should be a pull-out once the surge is over. You know the deal about the US occupation/war in Iraq. It's important to hear firsthand from the general what's going on and what's in store for the future.

Well, I flip to CNN, the hearing is on. I flip to MSNBC, it's also on. But when I flip to Fox News, I see that dude from the VH1 show Best Week Ever talking about how The Simpsons is banned from Venezuela. Interesting choice for counter-programming. What happened, Fox News? The Iraq War not important enough to talk about? I know all new sources have their bias, but can Fox News at least pretend to not be.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

April 5

The premiere for the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica passed last night. I was not able to finish the third season in time. I decided to take my sweet time. It's hard to find good television and I'd rather not bum rush through the whole season (I'm around the 7th episode).

I did see Enchanted last night. I liked it alot. Sure, it was meant for kids, but Amy Adams sure wasn't hehe. I haven't seen a prettier girl on the movie screen in a while. I hope I see more of her in the movies, but I don't know if I'd like her in more mature rolls. If she stuck to strictly PG-13 affairs, then that would be great. The music was great. I've always been proud of Alan Menken because he represents for my hometown alma mater. But of course, Once had to win the Oscar for best original music. And I fully support that decision, though Enchanted did have good music too.

I seriously can't wait for the weather here to get better. I'm tired of the clouds and the cold wind. Once I get my feet on the ground, I should consider moving to the South or to the west coast. I was thinking of San Fransisco. My cousin moved there and she loves it. Though, I've heard the weather there is temperate and not the always-summer that other parts of California gets.

My writing has been suffering. :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

NBC 2008-2009

NBC, you know, the channel, revealed its plans for the 2008-2009 television season. Why is Knight Rider in it? Did anyone watch the remake/movie this spring? Wasn't Bionic Woman a big enough flop? I feel like vomiting.

Heroes is coming back of course. You know how I feel about Heroes. Maybe I can cleanse my palette with Battlestar Goodness before I force myself to watch Hiro Nakamura teleport to the wild, wild west and fall in love with a cowboy.

What does look interesting is the description of the drama titled Kings. It's described as a modern day version of the story of David. I like good versus evil stuff.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Malubye bye (I'm sorry but I had to do it)

There were some bad song choices, but she has a strong voice.  But Castro and Kristy were also on similar paths.  Jason just phones in every goddam' performance with his goofy-ass guitar playing whispering style.  Bottom line is it's getting tired and your number shoulda been called tonight.  His corny performances were only corned-out by Kristy Lee Cook.  All I have to do is remind you guys of that rodeo-infused performance of 8 Days a Week.  All that performance needed was some clowns.

Here's to Ramiele Malubay.  My Tita says you'll be the bomb in the Philippines, but that's not the same as being on American Idol.  Plus, my aunt falls asleep watching AI so what does she know?

I'm sad to see Ramiele go.  I thought the "Pinoy People Power" would've kept her on for a little higher than 9th place.  At least now I can hate Castro a little longer.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Irks and Dirks: Battlestar Galactica

It's April 1 and the tv world is about 3 days away from the premiere of the final season of Battlestar Galactica.  Of course, I am in a pickle seeing how I have only just finished the second season (omg, how good were the final episodes?), and I have the third season to plow through. 

In celebration of this event (What has my life come to that television has become an event?), I will talk about what irks and dirks me about BSG.  I couldn't find a word to rhyme with irks, and I really wanted this post to rhyme.  So let's pretend that dirks is the opposite of irk.  Now, I will talk about a bad thing and then a good thing about Battlestar Galactica.


Let's pretend that in the future that the entire human population (pre-Cylon attack) was (will be?) 5 billion people.  That's an extremely conservative number since in the future there will be other planets that the human race have populated.  In Battlestar Galactica, around 50,000 humans survived the attack.  If you do the math, that's only 0.00001 % of the human race that survived.  Even less since my estimates are conservative.  

If the Cylons are so powerful, how could they not destroy this extremely small number of people.  More importantly, how can 50,000 (not all fighters, and some are children) fight off the Cylons enough to survive for months on the run?  This is the population of a town.  How can they be self-sufficient while on the run in outer space?  The show explained some things like how they get their fuel for the fleet, but I can't suspend my belief enough to explain how, basically, a town can run from advance machines who outnumber them by alot.


Just ranting.  But, Oh how glad I am to have found such a great show.  Action and Drama and Suspense.  Plus there is this whole theme of "the meaning of life" and "destiny and God".  When the show is at its best (the end of season 2), this theme combines with space action to give you the best television.  Better than anything on the broadcast networks.  But I'm glad this show is on cable.  It would have probably been cancelled like many other tv gems (Firefly, anyone?).

The acting is on point.  My favorite character is Dr. Baltar with Chief coming in a close second.

This post is getting too long and it's getting late (early?) so I'm going to have to end it.  But I'm planning on making another Irks and Dirks post soon on Battlestar Galactica.

Next Time on Irks and Dirks:  the death of some characters that I liked, awful love triangles, and more on my two favorite characters.

Now time for a Season 3 run!