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28th October 2009

2:29pm: finished The Human Condition yesterday.
It is the second longest movie i've seen, after the 15 hour Berlin Alexanderplatz, which is more like a miniseries.
I wish i hadn't paused between parts 2 and 3 of the movie though. I think it lead to a slightly disjointed feeling. Also, i feel like the subtitles got a bit lazier in the last parts... or maybe the looser language made sense, since they were no longer in a military setting as pow's.
It is not every day you see a 9.5 hour movie to only have the protagonist die at the end. We never do find out what happened to his wife.
The interview with the director had one fun anecdote where he says they had very little time to edit the 1st third of the movie before its release date, so he stood by the editor and would hit him with a golf club if he started dozing off.
The director himself was a POW in the war. Tough guy. Reminds me of a japanese Sam Fuller. Who cast the lead of Steel Helmet by throwing an m16 at the actor and telling him to strip it as fast as he could. when the actor caught it and properly dismantled the gun he was hired for the role.
That meant Fuller happened to have a wwii assault weapon at his desk.

Dance with the Devil.. I've been wanting to see this for roughly 10 years. It is based on the same set of Barry Gifford stories that Wild At Heart are based on. The only similarity is the character Santos. Rossie Perez was surprisingly not annoying in this film. And Javier Bardem was really good. Bad ass and funny at the same time. I've seen most of Alex De Iglesias' movies. I never did finish 800 Bullets though. And accione mutante i saw about 10 years ago, so i don't remember much. Ferfect(sic) Crime, Commonwealth, Dying of Laughter and Day of the Beast are all really great.

Checked out Prog is not a Four Letter Word from amoeba the other day. It is a comp of foreign prog bands. The best new find is the band The Visitors, and there one album Visitors. Definitely the best new album i've heard in a while. accept it's from 1974 France.

26th October 2009

6:09pm: crap. i haven't been updating this.

I saw Antichrist today. It was really intense. My mother was going to go. I need to stop her.
I want to say why it was intense. but i don't want to give anything away..... and even just talking about it to monica would upset her i think.

Jeeves and Wooster. This is a Fry and Laurie (of House fame) british comedy series from 1990. Based on the stories by pg wodehouse that monica has been reading lately. Saw one about a soup company and a painter, and twin nephews who are supposed to be on a boat to south africa. It was really entertaining. I didn't understand a lot of it, because the dialogue is fast, british, and the vocabulary is way beyond my grasp.... but it was still really funny. Fry and Laurie have hilarious facial expressions.

We saw The SOund oF Thunder last night.
its the one where its 2055, and a company does a safari where they take 2 rich people back in time to shoot a dinosaur. they do it without changing any events. but then someone steps on a butterfly, and when they come back to 2055 there are time waves that keep making things more and more prehistoric-ish. The cg is HORRIBLE. the premise is amazing. I really liked the baboon dinosaurs (which hang from roofs like bats), and giant killer bats. and plants that kill people. Ben Kingsley is really great in this. he knows the movie is shitty and seems to have a good time. i swear there is a part where he laughs because of how dumb the dialogue is, and not because it was scripted.

Day After Tomorrow. THis was really pretty great. It is so over the top and intense and unreasonable. Also... the fact that only people north of New York (that parallel) are actually effected by the storms. it just snowed some in mexico... so now everyone has to just live further south. big whoop.

Waterworld: This movie is great. Dennis Hopper is super entertaining in this one. Kevin Costner is super super dull, but it makes it funnier. I really like all the sets, and how the bad guys live in the exxon valdez.

Big Man Japan. I watch a lot of japanese movies. And i like the japanese aesthetic... but this was just too slow and dull for me.

Human Condition. On the other hand. i have seen 7.5 hours of this 9.5 hour movie (i'll finish it soon), and it is way more enjoyable and watchable than Big Man Japan which was 100 minutes.

12th October 2009

8:34pm: saw meatballs for the first time the other night.

of all the 80s flicks i've seen this has the strangest pacing. There are a lot of quiet contemplative scenes. Most of the movie is pretty uneventful and quiet, except for Bill Murray running around cracking jokes. He is pretty hilarious. I definitely enjoyed it. I'm curious to see the second one. No Murray, but i like Richard Mulligan, and it has Pee Wee Herman and John Larroquette.

Also saw "Take Aim at the Police Van". This is an early Seijun Suzuki, that has bee released as part of the Nikatsu Noir box set. It has been a long time since i've seen the other criterion released Suzuki flicks, and i haven't seen any of the other domestic titles, like underworld beauty, tatooed life, or tales of sorrow and sadness. I think the film is purposefully a bit confusing. It is from the prospective of a guy who isn't sure what is going on, so it makes sense that we don't either. I really liked it however. The music is good, the main protagonist is kind of an average joe middle aged man, and i enjoyed that aspect as well. The strangely western femme fatale character is enjoyable as well.

Tonight i watched Insect Woman. This was a 60s Shohei Immamura title. The japanese title is actually "Japonese Entomology"... which i actually prefer having seen the movie.
It is a very dreary story of a girl who has sexual relations with her father, moves to the city, becomes a prostitute, and has her ups and downs... but more downs than ups. She has a daughter who at one point seems ready to follow in her crappy footsteps. (including maybe the incest, but this time with the grandfather). There are some scenes intended to shock, like the dad sucking a boil on his daughters thigh, and drinking her breast milk. The main actress is extremely good. Like a lot of Immamura titles that i've seen it has odd freeze framed scenes. It also mirrors the characters progression with that of the country, including some stock footage of post war japan up to the early 60s when the student riots started.
There is an interesting scene when the emperor surrenders over the radio, and a plot element involving a cult like religious sect (i believe it was Buddhist related, but they incorporated the idea of confession).
Immamura is definitely one of my top 2 or 3 favorite japanese directors. This was filmed 3 years after Pigs and Battleships, which i saw at the PFA 2 years ago. This is from a newish criterion box set, and includes Intentions of Murder, which i will see as soon as it comes into work.
The sociological aspects of this movie, (lots of poor rural family details), are similar to that in Profound Desires of the Gods. Another good one.

8th October 2009

11:10pm: i forgot. a few days ago we saw The Last Dragon. Which has an amazing theme song.

I kept thinking Berry Gordy was the kung fu guy. oops.

I sold my copy of Nekromantik for 110 bucks. 94 of which i get. Not tooooo shabby.

I am now selling an used copy of FM. I hope to get 90, 77 of which i'd get. Knock on wood.
1:07am: soft hands, sharp nails
started watching Black Ceasar, but realized i had already seen it.

So i watched Thieves Highway. It is my 3rd Jules Dassin movie. They have all been big hits,
Night and the City, Thieves' Highway, The Naked City and Brute Force. Night and the City still might be my favorite, but Naked City was great for all the location shooting. It was interesting in thieves highway to see shots of the embarcadero in 1949.

5th October 2009

4:29pm: i don't seem to post anymore.

i would like to keep track of movies i've seen, at the very least. So here are some of the last ones i can remember.

Toykyo Sonata - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's latest. It played in hong kong for 1 or 2 nights and was sold out so i never saw it. watched the MOC/Eureka edition dvd with duncan. My favorite film by kurosawa in quite a while. Pretty much a straight black comedy, so the first time in a long time there were no horror elements. i thought it was fantastic in every possible way.

Mad Max / Road Warrior / Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. - I had never seen these... I think i would have enjoyed the 3rd a lot more as a little kid.... and looking back i suppose it was pretty entertaining... but there were too many cringeworthy parts (mostly involving those kids). Each one has it's own feel... i think i liked the first one the best.

Conan the Barbarian. This was just amazing.... Arnold punching a camel in the head, and biting a dead vulture in the neck.

Time Bandits - I found it pretty entertaining, but there is something dreary and too british about it. i can see why it wouldn't have been successful here.

Blade Runner Final cut - i had seen blade runner around 4th grade. i remembered absolutely nothing about it. I was really blown away with how good it looks, and all the work that went into building all the sets and models. It looks as good if not better than a lot of new cgi work. The story is good too. . and the future, for once, looks livable and kind of cool.

The American Soldier - one of the earlier fassbinder movies. he was trying for a 40/50's crime movie feel... but he is just too weird of a guy to make it seem normal. i really like the Fassbinder style...and am pretty used to it. The possible incestuous love between brothers, the immigrant bar that was pretty much just a kitchen table... how he treats the hooker. i liked it.

Running Man - starts of so damned hokey. but boy is it good. very effective, and i'm surprised they haven't tried remaking it.

Revenge of the Nerds - really liked this one too. but couldn't get into the sequal that was on the other side of the disc. the part where the gay black kid takes the needle off the record when the supernerd puts on 'swing low' in front of the black frat guys.... priceless.

Skinhead Attitude. a documentary on skinheads.... saw it on my computer. i especially liked the parts about european skinheads... apparently not too many from the states (either sharps or racist ones) were willing to talk to the film makers. i remember going to sharp shows in sacramento in 1996/1997. Rob had a good point. can't they listen to the music without dressing like that. everyone assumes the sharps are racist because racist skinheads get all the publicity, so whats the point of dressing in a way that will make people think you are a nazi, when you aren't. i felt bad for the old original skinheads... it was a different world back then.

i'll have to look at my loan log at work to see what else i've seen, as there is a ton more.
i'm trying to catch up on the 80s.

15th March 2009

11:43pm: Ended up at a "french hip hop" night at the fringe club, (the artsy fartsy club). that was very odd. when you are starved for entertainment, you'll do strange things. the last group at least had ok music, and the dj dude was good at that sort of thing. though his dj name was "fade wizard". it was funny seeing the canadian consulate middle aged asian ladies waving their hands in the air. and no, i did not.

thought i was going home after that, but instead followed friends around the corner to LKF the area of town with all the clubs. i really dislike that area, but after getting sufficiently liquored up, and having decent conversations it was ok.

around 445am there was a fight... which i luckily narrowly avoided being part of. i was standing talking to some people, and suddenly some arab looking guy was standing in front of us getting a light. and he calmly said, "there is a fight starting behind you". i had no idea. i looked around and all the french exchange students were talking to this group of thuggy chinese guys. and suddenly there was pushing. and suddenly the chinese guys smashed a bottle across the french guys head. and another one broke one on the ground and was thrusting it at people. and more shoving. and i stepped the fuck back.
it ended with 3 french guys with heads wounds, one of which was bad enough to make him stagger and fall, hands covered in blood. other guy had blood coming down his face as he had gotten the bottle to the forehead. one of the bigger french guys grabbed a bottle used to bash his friend, and apparently shoved the broken bottle into one of the chinese guys sides. but i couldn't confirm that.
some african dudes called an ambulance. a bunch of people restrained the most injured french guy from going back down the stairs after the chinese guys. that was good. he needed stitches.
we all shortly took cabs back home, and around 600am met in a park, and they all smoked hash, and i saw the sun rise for the first time in years. i don't know why i stayed... but the conversations were pretty entertaining. with a russian canadian giving out golden one liners that could be used in a movie. he went on and on about loving ikea and his "billy and malme" bookshelves. and how he fucking loves ikea hot dogs. and wants to be pleasured by an ikea sales woman. (i suppose the humor really came from how blunt he stated this stuff, and his funny mild russian accent, i saw him later talking about soccer, and it was still funny, but really only the tone of voice.... like hearing Herzog read a phone book would be compelling) i don't get it. its all about the meatballs, not the hot dogs. but apparently getting hot dogs in ikea is a grand adventure for these kids.

i just killed a 3rd ant in my room. that sucks.

i hear Pagan, the burmese place at 32nd isn't open for lunch anymore.
and Zone 88 is closed. i'm sad about that.

14th March 2009

now if only the new movie would be as clever as this poster.

8th March 2009

2:54am: hmong
so.  i just watched Gran Torino, the new Clint Eastwood movie.  
its all about clint eastwood being a racist curmudgeonly korean war vet, and how he befriends some Hmong kids next door, and their troubles with gangs.    The acting is super stiff, but its excusable, as they actually used real Hmong people for the parts.  They had casting calls in the 3 or 4 hmong centers in the US.  fresno being one of them.  The title and the poster for the movie really ignore the main focus of the movie. 
I also didn't realize there was a Hmong rap scene.   apparently the first female hmong rap "artist" just married "Buddah" one of the more popular detroit hmong rappers.  i know because i checked out his myspace page.

last night i saw Synecdoche, New York.  Charlie Kaufmans directorial debut.   I'm not sure how i feel about this one.   I suppose i really liked it, until maybe the last 20 minutes or so.   It kind of just spirals out of control, and becomes too awkward, and it really hurts the acting and writing.
I think its my favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman role.  And Samantha Morton was really great.  And it was refreshing to see something that original.    There are some angry reviews on imdb about how it was pretentious and wasn't "deep".   They may be right, and those same things apply to wes anderson movies...  but for some reason the pretentiousness really works for me, and i'm not watching it for a life changing message.  

also tried watching Morvern Callar.   It was an unintentional Samantha Morton marathon.

I had to fast forward some scenes as that movie was just too slow for its own good.   Synecdoche is slow as well, but at least something new keeps happening.    Morvern just walks around, listening to good music on her headphones for half the movie.   Really wasn't into it.

I am really excited that i remembered that the Hong Kong international film festival is starting soon.

and unlike in san francisco, i don't have to pay 12 dollars to see a movie.  student price is around 5 dollars thanks to shipping charges. (no will call i guess).    full price is around 8.
I have tickets for  Shinjuku Incident,   which appears to be a new Jackie Chan movie, but more of a drama.  i think its about chinese immigrants in japan.  and people get shot and beat up.   the trailer looked good,  but folks on twitch who saw it already didn't like it.   oh well.
I have tickets for the new Takeshi Kitano.  this is the 3rd movie in his strange self referential trilogy.   i've really liked the last 2 movies.  the first one was definitely for fans only, as it referenced all his movies, which i had already seen.  the 2nd was 2 parts, 1 of which was hilarious, the other a bit tedious at times.  this one is in 3 parts.  i hear its the "easiest", or most watchable of the 3.   we'll see.

i'm also really excited that Peter Greenaways  "Rembrandt's J'Accuse"  is playing.  it is not often you get to see Greenaway in a theater.  I'm a bit concerned i won't enjoy it, as it seems really art history specific.  I am not well versed in Rembrandt, and not sure if am actually interested.  But i feel obligated to see this, and i'm sure it will great to watch.  

also, just cause its a cheaper way to see them,  i have tickets for Che (All 4.5 hours in one night, hopefully with an intermission), and W. .
There is a lot more playing, but only so much time, and money.

i am tired.

27th February 2009

10:52pm: stuff
finished 2 days of "tests".    glad that is over.

i gave myself study breaks that involved watching;....
Role Models.   I really liked this one.   I'm a big Sean William Scott,  and a growing fan of Paul Rudd.
This movie could have been horrible, but i thought it was pretty great.   i liked all the nerdy live action role playing stuff. 
And i really like it when little kids swear in movies.  and there was a lot of that.   seeing a little 9 year old talk about titties is great.

then i watched Transporter 3.    i've been a fan of the series, and this was no exception.   maybe the action was less flashy, but to make up for it the girl was less annoying.   Shu Qi really sucked in the first one.  ANd the second girl was really full of herself and annoying.
this one was quiet for a long time...  much better.

Tonight i went with some folks  to see Fatih Akins "Im Juli."   I can see why it was so popular at le video.  its one of those warm hearted foreign movies that the sf crowd can't get enough of.   but i liked it.  i'm a huge sucker for road trip movies, especially in foreign countries.    i still think white girls shouldn't wear tight braids like that though.  its gnarly.
i got the gang to get dessert with me.  i like making people try chinese dessert.  they were good sports.   it was lauren from north carolina, a girl from finland and a boy from turkey.  the turkish boy was way too chatty.  but i think the finnish girl likes him.

i found some white powdery fluff growing on my wall near some water damaged area.   apparently its just efflorescence.... which is harmless, but might form a stalactite.

22nd February 2009

1:10pm: stuff
my birthday was pretty good considering i was away from home.

went out with a group of 12 people to my favorite northern chinese lamb restaurant. this wasn't originally for my birthday, so  it wasn't all friends.  but they all signed a card anyway.    Ted ordered the lamb leg a day in advance.  it was crazier looking than tasting.   my favorite was some stewed lamb shank kind of thing.  and the usual skewers. 
we got a big set meal that was 1700 hk$.  and added even more too it.  i ate and ate.  thanks to a lot of girls not eating much.  

then the next night i got a group to go bowling.  it ended up being pretty fun.  i didn't think it would work out, but there ended up being 10-11 people there.   i only didn't know 2 of them, but they were nice, and replaced a friend who had to go home sick.  

yesterday i was supposed to be reading.  but after class got out at 1230 i went to get lunch,  but noticed that Milk was playing... so i saw that.
i enjoyed it.   i think seeing it at the castro would have been better.   i wonder what the chinese people thought about it.    
it was way "hornier" than i expected.  it kind of made Milk look kind of sleezy.   but i suppose those were the times.  late 70s pre-aids san francisco was probably pretty randy.     it was great seeing the city, and made me miss it more.

i cooked again.  tofu and fish cakes and veggies.   the tofu was very "Fresh" tasting.  it came from a big block at a wet market.  it needed more flavor  from sauce or something to mask a bit of the strange fresh tofu flavor.   the fish cakes were great.  i think i'll buy those more often.    and cheap as hell.  
i was supposed to go to sleep,  but i found a copy of the Wrestler to download, and ended up watching it late last night.
Boy... that was not the thing to see before bed.
super good, and pretty darn depressing.   That would be rad if mickey rourke won the academy award, but i suppose that is unlikely.
Sean Penn was good, and so was brad pitt, but Rourke was the best.  haven't seen the other 2.  i think frost/nixon comes out here in a week or two.  i'll see it then.  but no matter how good they are in that one, i don't think it deserves and awards.  
The Wrestler was a really different story.  i've definitely never seen a real dramatic movie about a 'professional wrestler'.  

time to get food and do some real reading. 

18th February 2009

9:52pm: mu

so i cooked last night.
it went well, other than getting way too many fish bones scattered throughout my food, making for difficult eating.
but the flavor was right.

i was lazier today, and bought ingredients at Taste, the yuppie grocery store in the mall.   i got pork this time. it is nice getting refridgerated  meat though.  as at the wet market, meat is just hung on a hook.   This meal was a lot more fun to eat, and also tasted pretty good.
I'm excited about cooking again. for a while at least.   it would help if i had more than one pot to use.
i bought a knife, cutting board, resealable container, chopstics, and wooden spoon  all for about 4 dollars.  the cutting board smells like glue.  hope its not poisoning me.

i ate at the taiwan beef noodle place in kowloon city for the second time.   not the big one called Taiwan Beef Noodle, but the smaller one that doesn't have an english name.   An old man in there recognized me from eating across from me at another restaurant.  i had no memory of this, but its nice that he did.  The soup was a bit to numbing spicy, so it made my mouth feel kinda weird.  but they do the meat really well,  melts in your mouth.   good job.
picked up my favorite Mango rice dumpling things.  

Played drums again.  no blisters this time.  that was quick.

i'm excited about the Lamb restaurant tomorrow night.  Ted got a table for all 12-13 of us,  and pre-ordered the lamb leg.  you have to tell them a day in advance as it probably takes forever to cook.  
And friday it looks like i'm going bowling.  the group might be small, but that is fine.

time to re-write my homework.

16th February 2009

11:54pm: update
I told myself i would update more. 
So much for that.

So i'm still obsessed with the south indian food.  it is a pleasant departure from chinese food and japanese food.

I tried a vietnamese place.  it was tiny, and run mostly by one old guy.   he seemed christian, and was in the army it looks like. not sure who's.
no english. so i only could order Pho Tai.  well i said "pho" and he said "pho tai" and i remembered that being the normal thing i used to get.
well. still not quite right.  and cleanliness seemed to be an issue (step down from vietnam on broadway) .  so the search continues.

i ate a papaya salad at my thai place i go to.  i asked for it to be less spicy.  but i think her laugh she gave me was to tell me she wouldn't do it, as it had a large amount of mortar crushed thai bird chilis.  and boy are they hot.  all the seeds evenly scattered throughout the salad.  i think it would be tasy without them.   oh well.   also, there yellow curry was bad.  i'll stick with my coconut soup and grilled fish for now.

i posted my first review on "openrice.com"  its hong kongs yelp.  just not used as much. and all in chinese.  it was hard to register.
and they emailed me something, but i don't know what it says.  and there was an error at one point that took a while to figure out.

i'm starting to go to a martial arts class with Ted.  Yi quan.  or mind boxing.    mostly i'm just doing stances.  mostly the "power stance".  which is a knee bend, straight back hands out in front like you are holding a big ball.   the goal is to hold this position for 40 minutes without shaking.   i get to about 3 when the shakes really start bad.   i almost did the 15 today.   my goal is 15 with no shakes.   ted was up to around 25,  and another fellow who has been training every day for 3 years had his "test" today, and did all 40 no shakes.  he came in really skinny, and still looks small and weak, but damn that guys strong.   he was doing his punches and kicks for part of his test, and they were deadly sounding/looking.  i think this will be good for my posture and over-all well being.  so thats good.   right now it makes me nauseous,  because of the posture and the strain.  

i'm going to the Ba Yi lamb restaurant with a group of 13 classmates on thursday.   unofficially for my birthday.   i think i'm officially going bowling for my birthday, but i don't have my hopes up.  

i saw a few movies lately.

Naked Prey.   the movie about a group of white game hunters who are captured by an african tribe, and they set one loose on a "most dangerous game" type thing.   not much dialogue.  mostly the white fellow Cornel Wilde running around in his underwear while some tribesmen try hunting him down.   i liked it.  its shot in northern south africa lending it authenticity.  and it makes you feel hot and tired just watching him.   interesting animal photography too.

i saw polanski's Cul-De-Sac in the theater.   there was a polish film festival that i missed all of, except the last night they played cul-de-sac.
the print was really bad.  but it was great seeing it in the theater.  nice theater at the sciense museum. i'm excited to see more there.
i went with a friend Lauren from north carolina and a slightly annoying french jewish dude.   he thinks himself a dj.  and bought glasses so that he would have a new "look" for the week.   he also refused to eat indian food with us before hand, and went to mcdonalds instead.  and told us how good it was.  no joke.

today i saw Valkyrie.   ehh.   tom cruise was fine.  and i wasn't bothered at all that they didn't try to speak or sound german.    the cast is pretty good all around.   some scense were kind of tense.   but all in all i wasn't really impressed or that dissapointed.  just kinda blah.

i'm turning 30 on friday.  and not too pleased about it.  especially when everyone around me is barely 22.

i think i'm going to try and cook something soon.

oh.  i practiced drums on wednesday for  the first time in maybe 8 months or more.   since we left the practice space.  
i got blisters, but it felt good to play. and i'm going to do it at least every wednesday.

oh. i finished all of Arrested development.  the only thing keeping me from being sad about it, is knowing that i'll watch it again with monica.
i really liked that show.   especially Buster.

ok. back to homework


8th February 2009

9:57pm: update
i feel like i should update this more.  mainly for my benefit of remembering things that aren't so memorable.

So starting saturday:
woke up late.
somehow didn't leave the house till after 2. 
went to a vegetarian south indian restaurant.  it was closed technically, but they let me in.  didn't give me a menu, as they only had a few things left.   I wanted Dosa.  They had Dosa.  i got that.  with masala ( the potato mixture).   also i got some sort of rice cake thing.  He called it rice cake, but it tasted more like a cross between ethiopean bread and cream of wheat formed into a sope sized disc.   it soaked up the liquid from the Dosa side dishes.     I liked the place.    on the way out i got a fresh juice from a juice stand,  carrot, bitter mellon, apple, celery.  it was good and extra bitter, and felt really healthy.   those juice stands are a favorite aspect of hong kong.  and have made me excited about my juicer i have waiting for me when i come back.
I believe i did nothing else that day but watch tv on the computer. and i think i tried reading in the library.
oh not true.  i saw Benjamin Button.   since i was by myself, and am weird about death, i found it pretty sad all the way through.  i kind of liked it though.  even if it is just another forest gump.  the wwII scene was pretty neat.  but I HATED with a passion the way the story is introduced to us... i super super super hate movies where the story is told in flash back from a hospital bed.  it is used too often and i hate it.  

Sunday:   Went back to the indian place with Ted.   It is called Banto.  its in tst on cook street.
we got a bunch of things  We got the Bhel Puri.  which was like kix/ricekrispies  with some potato, shredded coconut, tomato, celantro and maybe chickpeas.   It was interesting. but not exciting.
We got Pav Bhaji.  This was 2 rolls. really tasty buttery rolls, and a red colored 'curry'.  i don't think its really curry, but it looked like usual indian textured stuff.  it was exceptionally tasty.  we also got another Masala Dosa.   i asked for "pickles" and was given a plate with the usual tamarind chutney, mint chutney and some spicy sauce pickles.   it was all amazing.  the mint wasn't with yogurt, but fresh and dark green. the tamarind chutney was very sweet and fruity.  the pickles weren't quite as crazy as at Rajaat in the south bay, but were good.  i ran out of stuff to eat with them even after we got a Chapati or some kind of pancake thing.

Later i tried going to Tai Po to a well respected beef noodle place.   they serve beef cheeks, which i guess isn't always an option.  i hear there broth is great and not oily, and the meat is extra tender.   unfortunately they were closed.   its about 30 minutes to tai po. so i didn't want to turn around.  once again i had a mediocre goose meal in tai po instead.   Well this time it tasted real good.  but the rice was weird and gooey, and there was not nearly enough goose, and the house soup was kinda dishwatery tasting, and it was 5 more hkd than my favorite place for that same meal.

oh and i got some banana bread from a bakery in the mall.  which i only recently went into.   they have stuff without milk.  hopefully i wont' waste too much of the no money i have.

my musical discovery for the day:  The Focus Group, and by in general Ghost Box Records.  a label started by the guy who does the art for Broadcast and stereolab albums.  
The music is very samply and fun.  a review mentions bruce haack and raymond scott.  and i see the comparisons.  but much busier.
http://www.ghostbox.co.uk/thefocusgroup.htm    All the records have nice cover art.     I have a number of albums now from the label.
a few other from the focus group, but also Mount Vernon Arts Lab, Eric Zann,  and Belbury Poly.   They are all pretty similar. though Belbury seems more electronic.  and Eric Zann the darkest.

4th February 2009

5:52pm: hello
went to taiwan for the lunar new year break.  that was fun.

now i'm sick.   bad fever.  but getting better slowly.

i just canceled my 'friendster' profile.   i think i had canceled it once before, it said i was a member since 2003, but i think it was before that.
who knows.

i finally started watching arrested development.
everyone said i'd like it, and sure enough i do.
now i'm 20 episodes into it.  
that's not good.  i need to be studying.

it's now dark in my room.

2nd December 2008

10:26pm: tunez

How many total songs?


Sort by song title - first and last?

  • First:  not including a ton of songs that begin with the "A something-er-other"  Aacigu - Heishan, an aini singer from nannuo-shan in yuennan
  • Last: not including numbers, or chinese/korean/japanese characters,  it would be Zwolf - by elph

Sort by time - shortest and longest?

  • Shortest:  well, once again this is dumb.  some are weird blank tracks, or roy orbison saying "take 2" ...  i think the shortest official track is "All" by the Descendents, listed at 5 seconds, its more like 2.
  • Longest: longest is kinda dumb.  cause i have some tracks that are 3 hour radio shows...  or whole albums as one track.  i guess the longest technically is the recording of boredoms 77 drums at 1 hour 47 minutes.  but benjamin britten's war requieum at 1 hour 16 seems like a more fare answer. 

Sort by Album - first and last?

  • First:  "A" by either Cass McCombs or Supercar. 
  • Last: "Zwei Osterei" by Kluster. 

Sort by Artist - first and last?

  • First: not counting numbers or bands that are "a something er other"  ..  Aardvark.  
  • Last:  zykos.  

Top five played songs?

1: Denizalti Ruzgarlan by Okay Temiz, off the bosporus bridges compilation
2: Yesterdays  Charles Mingus, Hampton Hawes, danny richmond  off of Mingus Three
3: Ninja Gaiden - Mine shaft - The Advantage
4: Metroid, kraids lair - The Advantage
5: You play for us today - Agitation Free  from Malesch.

granted the most i've played any track all the way through is 4 times.   i like variety... 

Find the following words. How many songs show up?

  • Sex: 204 - mostly for sextet probably.
  • Death: 177 - only a 9 from the band "death" ....how dissapointing.
  • Love: 1552 
  • You: 2749  -  you??? what the hell kind of option is that.
  • Home: 217
  • Boy: 434 - i think the beach boys skewed that one.
  • Girl: 450 - girl group compilations skewed that one.
i feel like i should add one of those shuffle questions.
ok ... first 10 to show up when you shuffle:
1: Absinthe Eternelle - Blood Axis and Les Joyaux de la princesse
2: defeated - babyland - finger
3: i want to talk about you - john coltrane - live at birdland
4: plash - takako minekawa - fun 9
5: Mademoiselle Gentleman - Feu Therese - ooh this ones good.
6: imagination - the quotations - doo wop box set
7: respond in silence - the oscillation   (and they use lots of oscillation in the song...)
8: retphase - mouse on mars
9: toujours plus a l'est - univers zero
10: Disc 3 track 47 - Hossein Alizadeh - from the radif navazi box set.   this is interesting.  the set has 273 songs. most less than a minute and a half, and all start with hossein saying a word or 5 in whatever language he speaks, arabic i assume.   and then him playing his stringed instrument.  it makes it kind of trance inducing in a good way.  he has a very calming voice.

ok thats enough.

25th November 2008

1:37am: I apologize in advance.   When i return i will most likely talk to myself quite a bit more than before.  I already did talk to myself at times.  Usually when "alone", or maybe walking by myself.  This only effected strangers.  However, i have been doing it quite a bit lately, and it might breach over to the social world. 

1st November 2008

10:39pm: i posted more pictures finally.

i feel like i'm doing cooler stuff, but at the same time am not really all that happy hear.
i definitely miss talking to people in english, and having them understand me.
often times conversations go around in circles out of misunderstandings.

the muay thai fight was really cool.  i am hoping to go to a different fight this friday. more of a mixed martial arts kind of thing, i think.
i also have a punk show to go to next saturday. i'm a bit worried about getting there and back, as its on the other side of hong kong island. so there are no trains. just busses.  hopefully it won't get out late.
maybe the guy and girl i met at the last concert will go.  they were going to one tonight and invited me.  so that was nice.

i'm behind on school work.
its very hard to get myself to work on it.

i'm going to get my china visa on monday.

tomorrow i will do lots of work.

time to have some gin and grapefruit soda.

17th October 2008

4:25pm: the parents are arriving soon. they got there visa to  come to hong kong.
so i have to be out of the way at first so they can look around our room.

i am really confused why the cops haven't talked to me much yet.   just a little.  seems odd.  or contact the people who my roommate talked to on the phone some times.    i wonder if they even care to know.

i just happen to know, as she is from sf, one of the girls who reported the incident as they saw him fall out of a tree.  i am very glad that wasn't me too.  i feel bad for those 2 girls as well.  

i think the parents want to meet me tomorrow maybe.  i don't know what i'm going to say.
it will most likely be through a translator though.
like live in person relay operator.

there have already been news reports out of china.  from what some kids told me they translated, they are very misleading.  one, which came out on yahoo.cn just hours after the incident said he had a hyperactivity syndrome.  how the hell did they come to that???  it is baffling.   if he did, he was the most docile hyperactive person.   the other said he overdosed beforehand, as there were many (i think 8) empty bottles of pills found in his room.   this is just super untrue.  i know. i see his trash everyday.  there is one empty bottle, just cause he ran out and started a new bottle.  

i'm the kind of person who likes knowing details.  but i have a feeling no one will ever give me any.  they won't even say it wasn't an accident yet.  

time to memorize the finance convexity formula.
10:17am: there is nothing better to motivate you to study for an 830am saturday midterm like your roommate committing suicide the day before.
i'm tired. and i feel strange about the whole situation.  and i haven't made my formal statement to the police yet.  looking forward to that, and the possibility of meeting his parents.

10th October 2008

10:24pm: very exciting news.  Night Court season 2 has been announced on dvd.  not till february though.  happy birthday to me i guess.

so i went to taiwan.   that was exciting.  it was most nice to see monica.
and 2nd most nice to see misty rainy foresty hill town. 
3rd most for all the neat food, including Bees... and grilled alive shrimp, and black sausage, and oyster omelette.

a buddy here told me that taipei has very cheap book stores.  i did not know that.
also good dessert.  we had a hard time finding that.  

it is good to be back in hong kong only for 2 reasons.  i know my way around, and we flush our toilette paper here.

but otherwise it was definitely not fun leaving taiwan.

ummm   i don't think anything else has happened since then.   other than i have lots of tests next week. and a presentation that i'm dreading working on tomorrow.  i never liked group projects back home, but its even harder here, where they all want to talk in chinese, and everthing gets super confused over the smallest semantic issues.

oh.  everyone is way into these group dorm activities.  and i am not.  but they make me feel bad about it. cause all the local kids are nice, and they all know my name, even though  i only know like 2 of theirs.   they had a big cook off competition between the floors of our building.  and apparently this was a huge deal to everyone.  i only heard they were making chicken wings, and i already had dinner plans so i didn't go.
but i come back and everyone is frantic about people voting, and the food looks actually quite good.  each floor got 500 hong kong dollars.  almost 70 us dollars, to buy there ingredients.  thats a lot of wet market groceries.
i think people get disappointed when you don't participate.   i better join in on something soon.
why couldn't they have a battle of the bands or something.
or a who can reach the lightbulb competition.

the air was nice today.  my cough is gone, except when i stand next to a bus, which is actually pretty frequent, cause damn they have a lot of busses.   by the way, san franciscos public transport is really shitty.  i guess everyone already knows that.  but jeeeez.  here i wait like no more than 5 minutes, and usually between 0-2 for a train or bus.   the bus is double decker, and airconditioned.  the trains are super frequent.  one catch is i don't know the "owl" busses yet.  so if i'm out past 12:20am then i don't know how to get home except a cab.  which though cheaper than sf, isn't that cheap.

oh.  drinking hot liquids only, at night, seems to be a good health practice.

oh and i got my Hong Kong ID card.  i'm now a temporary resident.  this will help me for getting a china visa. i hear.   the card is neat looking and has a computer chip visibly attached to it. 

1st October 2008

11:59pm: good times.   things have been much improved as of late.  other than my health which is quite odd.  i feel fine, but still cough, and am a green mucousy mess.  
however thanks to my new local friend Ted, the food situation has gotten way better.   For some reason this guy has taken me under his wing and likes going out to eat a lot.   i guess he thinks he's getting good practice listening and talking in english.   I've had 2 outstanding meals and a couple better than school meals.   The really outstanding ones are actually recommendations from his father i think.  At least tonight was.  his dad actually drove us in his van that he drives government officials around in.   that's his job.  its like a super cushy cab driver job, where you only work 6 hour days and get paid more.  apparently his dad is kick ass. he also walks realllly fast up hills.  
Best cumin lamb i've ever had.   best dry fried green beens i've ever had, and best lamb dumplings.   and a really good and strange green tea cold drink.   hot damn.    i still wish i had pictures from the sushi dinner cause that was outsanding too.  
apparently i am invited to Ted's grandmothers... and apparently she's a really good cook, and makes rare regional food that you can't find in restaurants.  sounds good to me.

Friday evening i fly to taiwan.  i'm very excited.

my roommate still sucks, and sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night ... sometimes a bunch.  

Ted also thinks he can find me a real cushy under the table tutoring gig.   like 2 kids will meet me at school or a mcdonalds or something, and i will just help them go over their english homework.  so i will let them do there readings and sentences and have them repeat stuff...  he says its real easy, i don't have to come up with anything... just help them go over there own stuff...  and the parents pay ok, and its under the table.   i don't want to get kicked out of the country though....  but i doubt i would... unless the kid says i beat em or something.
Ted says he has known people who do this and it works out great.  he wishes he could.  

time to make some tea. i've been told that i shouldn't have cold drinks at night.  yes sir.

yay taiwan!!
i totally want to eat Bees!

26th September 2008

3:47pm: new rule.  if the waitresses point and laugh at you, then the food will be good.
i had a successful meal at the Shandong dumpling restaurant.   thanks google translate, chinese pera-kun firefox plugin and eatrice.com !
no thanks to all the suckers who would rather not go anywhere and just eat the shitty slop at the dorms.  (and no, the shitty slop ain't free).

25th September 2008

5:39pm: dear live journal,
living in hong kong is not doing anything to restore my faith in humanity.  i hate almost everyone.   the kids here are a weird mixture of being so studious that they seem willing to kill to get what they want, and super rude in the sense that they are always talking in class, and flaking on group projects.  
I have done a horrible job of making friends.  all the kids from sf are wanna be black asian kids.   except for the white girl who thinks she is chinese (and you thought i acted that way, you haven' t seen nothin).   I should have done this when i was 20, like everyone else.   I'm too old and jaded for this.    I don't like the food at the dorms, so almost every night i go out by myself and try something different in the nearest cool part of town.   I think the girl at the dessert place probably thinks i'm stalking her.   but really i'm only after the sesame balls.  i can't help it if they have the best ones.   and what is the deal with the dessert place having 6 employees at all times.  they need 2 maybe 3 max.
I can not get rid of this cough i have.  it is pissing me off. it seems to be getting worse.

my vietnamese buddy told me he was going to vietnam by himself, cause he wanted to see family before bringing friends with him.  but i found out 2 kids are going with him.  either they invited themselves along and he couldn't say no,  or he just doesn't want me to go, but is too nice/gay to just come right out and say it.    he still says i can come next time.    now going with him would be rad, cause A: free place to stay, and B: he speaks veitnamese so the food out and the food at home would be kick ass.  C: he'd know where to go to see cool stuff.  
but it would be equally cool going with monica, so hopefully that will work out.   the food wouldn't be as good, and things wouldn't be as cheap...  but the company would be a lot better.     going with my parents might be an option, but then i doubt they would want to be in the city, but in some coastal resort for tourists... so that doesn't sound nearly as fun.  though it does sound prettier.

all the european kids are loaded.  they go out to clubs every night, and then go on week long vacations.   it is super easy for them to get visas, and everything is super cheap, A: because there exchange rate is almost 50% better than ours, B: their education is completely paid for by the government, and C: they are dirty rich european kids.      I guess i could go to malaysia too, but going by myself would be a badddd idea. 

i'm going to try and get a ticket to taiwan for the 3rd of october.  it is way more expensive than i was hoping... but i suppose it is still cheaper than flying from san francisco.  ..  and only takes 1.5 hours.
also.  i'm here for a year, and the dirty french kids are only here for 1 semester.  so fuck em.

i keep day dreaming about telling the kids in class to shut the fuck up, and then killing one of them.
obviously i would say, shut the fuck up, and i would immediately be vaporized by some asian death glare.

oh... ps don't eat "White rabbit" candies.  they contain poison chinese milk.

pps, my roommate still sucks.  he smells, he snores loud. he got me sick. he makes weird noises. and he's a bad influence playing games 12 hours a day and sleeping the other 12.   and he takes weird medication that makes me wonder if he has a disease or something..
like the one med is commonly used for parkinsons patients.  but i don't think he has parkinsons.... 

gotta go
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