Friday, May 29, 2009

I saw Rent with Kate, and my sister-in-law-in-law Whitney and her fiance Joe. It was a great show! I'm a pretty big fan of the movie soundtrack as opposed to the broadway soundtrack, but when watching it live the message machine songs and the other little jingles didn't bug me at all. And the two tracks I always skip: "Today for you, tomorrow for me" and "Over the Moon" were much more entertaining than they are on the soundtrack. Good performances all around, with the possible exception of Mimi and Joanne (Mimi was good about half the time (she's no Rosario Dawson), and I thought Joanne overacted most of the time.)

About 1/3 of the way through the show I figured out that I really had to urinate. And my seat was almost exactly in the middle of my row, so it would have meant climbing over 10-15 people. Definitely not ideal. I suffered through it instead. Probably the last 3 songs before the intermission were spent with me thinking "Hurry up and get to the intermission!" I enjoyed the second act much more. Kate was super cold through the show (they were pumping the ac enough so you could feel a constant breeze), but I spent the first act sweating in concentration, and didn't notice it too much during the second act. Joe, who hadn't seen or heard much about the show beforehand, thought it was going to be a tragic play where the characters are killed off by AIDS as it progresses. (Maybe he watched Team America, with their song "Everyone has AIDS") Then he had a little difficulty following the storylines when they were advanced by mid-song events, which is understandable. Before I saw the movie, and had only heard the soundtrack, I thought Angel was two characters, a woman and a man. What can I say, it was confusing when some lyrics referred to Angel as "her" and some as "him". BTW, Angel was super good in this production. Definitely a good show over all.

I've been investing in stocks lately. Well, maybe investing isn't the right word.. I've been slowly trading in stocks. There are lots of articles on MSN money and yahoo finance about building a portfolio, and each one is more full of crap than the last. Diversify your stocks, diversify your mutual funds, diversify your portfolio into markets/bonds/cash, and then don't forget to dollar cost average it in case you're in an upswing in the market. Wow, talk about hedging your bets. Is it just me, or is this like going to the race track and, instead of researching anything about any of the horses, putting a bet on all the horses to show? Or taking a blackjack cheat sheet to a casino so that you know the statistics for maximizing your odds at each combination of cards (ie. a cheat sheet so you win 49.5% of the time). It's a strategy for losing money more slowly. Micros is my stocks buddy, and I've been pretty successful just occasionally bouncing ideas off him. I have a lot of strong opinions about investing, and maybe I'll write more about it later. Actually, at one point I was thinking of starting a separate blog about it because I find myself reading and disagreeing with so much common market sentiment, but that would be too much work for now. I'm pretty busy with my real work these days.

Mitch Hedberg-
If you find yourself lost in the woods, f*** it, build a house. "Well, I was lost but now I live here. I have severely improved my predicament."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial day today. It's gotten nice and warm in my basement this weekend. Currently a beautiful 79 degrees in here, which is almost borderline too warm for me. It's a little humid in here too. The humidity mostly only bothers me because it makes my cold beverage drip all over my desk.

My landlords are on their honeymoon this week, so it's nice and quiet (besides some contruction going on in the backyard). Should be good for getting work done, which is something that I need to do. I am behind, but not unmanagably so. I only need to do about 200% this month. Tonight I am going to make a detailed schedule and then stick to it like it's the bible. I'm not too worried.

Yesterday I wrote up a post about Street Fighter 2, but then didn't post it. I'm not sure were it is now. I've been playing Street Fighter 2 on my ps3 because it's on the hard drive and it only takes about 10 minutes to get a game in. The problem is, this version of street fighter (it's the HD remix) is so damn hard. I'm pretty decent at street fighter but this game kicks my ass. On easy mode, I can get all the way up to Saget, but then he kicks my ass for the next 5 minutes. Super frustrating too, because his flying knee goes way across the screen to knock you out of a jumping attack, and he'll back up and rain fireballs on you all day if you let him. I usually end up cussing out the television and wanting to break my controller. Supposedly SF4 is better. I should just uninstall that game (I think it was only a $10 download). That's probably the cause of my high blood pressure. (Though I went to a doctor last week, and he said my bp was fine. It was probably because I had been shaking Kate out of frustration and was all riled up before taking the blood pressure test at Giant)

(Mick56 quotes a corporate report that implies that the number of outstanding stock shares is higher than estimated)
padddyh13: Hey Mickey Mouse...don't you know bashers never provide links? Is there a basher parade now at Disney World?
sidslids: Go to the g-damn corp website and look at the form. I bet you pour hot water on your cheetos so you don't have to chew. And here i am using my jaws like a sucker.

Monday, May 18, 2009

(originally written 5/8/08 but unpublished)

I'm watching 300. Don't ask me why. This was such a great comic book, and they made it into such a ridiculous movie. I hate the poetic narration and the narrators annoying way of speaking. There's over acting all around. I don't think the king in the comic yelled this much at all. In fact the line "this is sparta" (which the king bellows) doesn't even have an exclaimation point.

Also the king tells the hunchback that he can't fight with them because he wouldn't be able to raise his shield to protect the man next to him in the phalanx. Then in the battle it's the loosest phalanx you'd ever see where each man just shields himself and has a nice little gap between himself and the next guy. That's when they use the phalax at all. Most of the battles are just every man for himself. The battle scenes were better when set to NIN like in the film's preview. Courtney probably wasn't thrilled when she and I went to see this in the theater in texas.

(talking about the new wii punch out game)
me: the new punch out game looks like it might be good.
dan: punch out will suck
me: punch out will be awesome. I was born to be a boxer.
dan: if the new punch out is (from what i hear) exactly a remake of the first one just with wii controls as an option, then who cares, play the old one. by the by you my friend were not made to be a boxer.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kate's gone to california this weekend, and I haven't shaved since wednesday. I don't have a real beard or anything, I just look like one of those scruffy guys you see hanging around the laundromat. I did shower for some reason this morning though. I feel guilty if I go a day without doing that, almost like I'm devolving as a person.

Wednesday I saw the Thermals with Rachel. It was fun. We tried to skip the opening bands and then didn't wait around for the encore. It was an efficient concert, which I appreciate. Waiting around for an encore is sooo often not worth the effort. You have to wait 10 minutes until the band's ego is sufficienty stroked, and then they play 3 more songs while you're thinking about how badly your feet hurt from standing so long and you wish you could be sitting down listening to it on your stereo instead. The new thermals album is too repetitive for me. They have that song "we were sick" where they say that line at the end of every verse and chorus. Boring. And their song "Now we can See" has a chorus that's just "oh way-oh oh" repeated over and over. Bleh. On the other hand, their drummer at the concert was immensely entertaining. He had a huge grin on his face the whole time, sorta like my cousin Brian does when he drums. And when a part of a song didn't have any drums he would stand up and pump his fists like AWK. I bet I'd be a good drummer. I've got rhythm in my soul, I just need some practice. The first step, of course, would be buying Rock Band. I played some at Kate's sister's apartment and it was pretty fun. I'm just not sure I want all the rock band gear sitting around my apartment.

"If you prefer your games fast and flashy, you'll hate Dominions 3. But if you're the kind of strategy gamer who revels in hunkering down with a highly complex and deep game with a phone-book sized manual and a steep learning curve that really makes you pause, ponder, and think, this is definitely the game for you."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I've seen the new star trek movie twice now. It's an enjoyable movie. I like how they're rebooted the series and managed to incorporate time travel without worrying about paradoxes. But I don't think it's as good as First Contact. I'm not sure I'll ever like Kirk as much as Picard. Hearing my captain say "I don't believe in no-win situations" would be a little disheartening if I was a crew member. Being braver and thinking further outside the box isn't going to create a victory out of every situation. See pretty much the entire Next Generation series for examples.

Also the science in this movie was worse than the usual trek stuff. They didn't make up much technobabble, but Spock creates a black hole to stop a supernova, gets sucked into a black hole but then just reappears in space, and for some reason Nero needs to drill down and create a black hole in a planet's core to destroy a planet. Seems like a black hole on the surface should be good enough. At least they didn't try to explain the red liquid.

(from an article about how the Army has videogame combat-simulation setups in malls to entice potential recruits)
Naturally, critics are out in full force, including a former Army staff sargeant, Jesse Hamltion, who accuses the Army of misleading kids with deceptive, unrealistic scenarios. Hamilton notes that recruits are unlikely to see active combat and that "the only way to simulate the heat is holding a blow dryer to your face."

Friday, May 1, 2009

I finished watching Band of Brothers last night. It's a pretty good series. I think it could have been better if they had strayed a little further from the facts. That's the trouble with movies that are based on true stories: they're never as exciting as they could be. In this case there were too many characters (like a dozen), and even though each had unique moments, none of them were very distinctive beyond that moment. You've got one guy who ends up behind enemy lines, a guy has a brief psychological crisis, one guy has a doomed romance. The problem is, beyond their distinguishing episode, each guy is just a regular guy at all other times. Maybe that's how reality is, guys are generally just regular guys, but I prefer my tv to make them more interesting somehow. Heck, beyond Captain Winters and Captain Spiers, I never even figured out what any of the characters' names were. You can tell the show is based off memiors, and they just filmed the "best of" of the memiores. But I wish they'd gotten a writer in there to combine some of the characters (though it would kinda suck to be an old WWII veteran and find out that you have been combined with several other people to make a documentary more interesting), and make some of them more defined. There weren't any real character flaws to be found. Not like in Rome, where they added heavy creative license to the historical figures, and everyone is much more interesting.

Dan deleted 50 of his facebook friends but I survived! I just checked. I think I only ever deleted one facebook friend. It was this blond girl who was Lem's friend. She took a bunch of photos at some bar, one of which was a photo of her and Lem, and if you looked closely at the mirror in the photo, you could dimmly see Eric's and my reflections watching like stalkers. I thought it was funny and tagged both of us. Then she friended me, and I got way too many status and photo updates, and I unfriended her. Nothing of value was lost.

(at a house party, talking to Dave when Eric wanders up mid-conversation)
Me: We were just talking about how long we'd survive if it got a degree hotter each day.
Dave: It's 80 degrees this week, then if it was 87 degrees next week, and another 7 degrees hotter the week after that.
Me: I'm built for the heat. I'd out last everyone.
Eric: On the third week I'd kill myself.