Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar RAWKS!

WOW! I gotta say, Avatar was impressive to look at. As long as your brain wasn't turned on too much it was a great ride to the movies. Visually it was absolutely stunning. I enjoyed it a great deal.

(Now to the shit. [That means spoiler alert!])

HOWEVER, I have trouble turning my brain down too much, especially in the face of laziness and very little imagination. (Huh? What? Little imagination?) Yes. VERY little imagination. I like Jim Cameron. He's a huge sci-fi geek with Hollywood clout. And he is definitely an innovator when it comes to the technology of films/movies. But story-wise he's a bit lazy. (Interestingly I read a blog by Steven Barnes that kind-of, sort-of explains this. Here's the piece 'cause it's a long blog and I don't feel like having you find the part I'm talking about:

"This is such a lovely trap, really. It works like this: in general, the deeper the characters, the simpler the story. And the more complicated the story, the shallower the characters. It isn't that people deliberately set out to do this: it is that a writer only has so much talent. Let's say they have a hundred cubic units of talent to expend upon a project. If they go for a story with wild twists and turns, and serious extrapolation...that uses up more units, and they just don't have as many left over for their characters, which often come out shallow and unconvincing...but WOW! That plot! And the stories with deep, resonant characters are usually stories of everyday life, small drama writ deep and wide. Scathingly real human beings against a backdrop of the mundane.")

And here, with Steve's reasoning, we have a somewhat obvious explanation (except in this instance there's nothing deep about the story or the characters, with the exception of the Na'vi people as a whole a bit. The divide here is Cameron's focus on tech/SFX versus story/character. He's so focused on pulling this shit OFF that all elements of the story suffer.) However there is also another. And that is that this is the exact same story that white people (men) KEEP TELLING OVER AND fucking OVER!!! (Here's a rather good article on this particular storytelling problem. Ironically, and [maybe] thankfully, written by a white person.)

I mean I was kind of cool with Cameron's portrayal of the Na'vi up until Sully gets captured. When the Na'vi warriors ride off to home tree what do I hear? The same exact shouts/calls/hoots I've heard in every film/movie that had some depictions of Native american warriors/braves/people. I mean THE EXACT FUCKING SOUNDS. These are not human beings. Yeah, they have two arms, two legs, a torso, a neck, a head, and kind of speak like we do. But they use their voices in a way so much more involved than humans, especially english speaking humans. Damn James, you could turn fine ass Zoe Saldana into fine ass Neytiri, a ten foot tall blue alien, but you couldn't come up with some alternative sound tech as well as film/visual tech to make her and all the other Na'vi sound different than us? That shit really bothered me for the whole damn movie. Basically the Na'vi were a combination of pretty much ALL non-white peoples on earth.

And then here comes some humans, mostly white, to take shit over. But a choice few, like less than ten among hundreds, want to learn and co-exist peacefully and ONE has to learn the hard way. And of course that one, is an outsider to those choice few but is an infiltrator among them as much as the natives. And "naturally" it's a MAN and he's WHITE. And too late he realizes he was wrong and switches sides. And LEADS the natives against his own kind, 'cause you know, they're wrong and just need to be shown the error of their ways. Check this here man: http://www.battleforterra.com/. Same exact movie, just the details were a bit different. And obviously more money was spent on Avatar.

OH YEAH, almost forgot the biggest twist of the knife: white boy gets to fall in love with the daughter of the local chief and life mate with her.

Don't get me wrong, there are some things I did enjoy though.
--I like the fact that it was a corporation that was there to rape the natural resources from this planet for profit. Earth is dying or dead and humans are still chasing money. SO US.
--I like the fact that the two humans, non-avatars, that helped the human-avatars against the corporate army were NOT WHITE, a female soldier and a male scientist. Michelle Rodriguez is so cool. I find it funny that the women who turned on the humans died but the two human-avatar white males lived. But the female soldier, Michelle, and the female LEAD scientist, played wonderfully by Sigourney Weaver (SO GOOD to see her back in Sci-Fi!), were BOTH killed and both by the same asshole, the leader of the coporate army. (Note: The ladies dying is something I DON'T like. At least Michelle's character. I understand why Sigourney's character had to die.)
--The humans get their ASSES KICKED!!!
--The one black dude, who seemed to be a kind of NCO, lives. He's light-skinned and had a really small part but he's black and we don't see him die, so that's like a first for James Cameron. Thanks James.
--Sully has his consciousness fully transferred to his avatar body, completely leaving his humanity behind. I'm not sure if that's the unspoken ultimate white people fantasy but I thought it was cool. Did notice he waited until AFTER the big battle to do it though. Even though he knew it was possible before the battle.
--Reminiscent of one of my favorite Alan Dean Foster novels, Midworld, which is a very good thing.

Ultimately James Cameron did what he does best, delivered some super-duper kick-ass sci-fi on screen. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Oh yeah, one thing I wanted to put down. For those who know me, for obvious reasons I didn't write about the 3-D aspects of the film.

For those who don't know me: I only have sight in ONE eye. Therefore the 3-D aspects really had no affect on my enjoyment of the movie. All the glasses did was make the movie look normal to me. Thank god. I wasn't sure what would really happen. It was interesting though because obviously so much more is being projected and is designed to be taken in by two eyes, so about halfway through the movie my eye got real tired. I had to close it for like a full minute to give it a break and then I periodically blinked on purpose just to avert more fatigue.

Even though I just saw it a few hours ago, I'm tired. I think I got everything I needed down. SO, aside from the seriously obvious and tired old story mold here, I enjoyed the hell out of watching it. There are bangin' SF novels out there and it would be nice if just ONE of them were properly adapted to screen.

All for now. LAterz.

T

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of the best movie scenes ever!

I love this movie. One of the best war films ever done! C'mon son!, he said, "You're so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece!" There's like mad classic quotes in this scene! There's more classic quotes in this scene alone than most other whole movies! And this is over twenty years old and still holds up well. (Thanks to my big Bro' for bringing my attention back to this joint.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

The White House, The Secret Service, The American President and white america

What the fuck happened at the White House state dinner?! How in the hell do two ugly ass wanna-be white people CRASH a dinner party at the WHITE HOUSE?! I'm sure everyone who was invited got an invitation. I would assume you needed to bring that invitation as proof you were invited not to mention a little something called a GUEST LIST to match up with the invites. I've been to birthday parties with better security!

Let's get the REALLY obvious out of the way right now: If they were any ethnicity other than obviously white they would have NEVER gotten in.

I'm not sure about criminal charges, though. I think SOMETHING needs to happen to these two narcissistic self-important assholes, but, the legality of the situation I think is in question. I'm thinking (going off of quick logic 'cause I'm not researching this) essentially the White House IS public property. PROTECTED public property but public nonetheless. Therefore, they aren't really guilty of trespassing. Party crashing is not a crime unless done on private property. I wonder if they actually ate. Or did they come in, hobnob and take pictures then bounce. If they ate I have to assume they actually did score an invite somehow because I'm sure those tables were only set for the number of people that were supposed to be there. Or they have a relative that's on the Secret Service detail that knew two people that were invited weren't going to make it and snuck them in. If so, that didn't work out so well since these idiots posted pics on facebook. Great free advertising for facebook.

The US Secret Service just issued an apology about this. What? Really? You can't be serious. This is supposed to be the most secure house in the world. A security force was CREATED just to secure this house and its occupants: The President of the United States and his family. Also any visiting foreign dignitaries and very important persons. This state dinner had the POTUS and the First Lady, the VPOTUS and his wife, and the PM of India and his wife and a bunch of VIP's. And two uninvited persons just walked in. Exquise me? Baking powder? That IS NOT supposed to happen. The POTUS and VPOTUS essentially belong to the American people and therefore their safety is our concern, yes? The details of how they are kept safe are to be kept secret of course BUT we need to know they are properly protected. And when there is such a big and PUBLIC snafu such as this, the ensuing investigation is also our concern. I as an american citizen need to know that this fuck up in the security of my president is being thoroughly investigated. I don't need the details of the investigation but I DO want the results to be made known. And that proper steps have been implemented so that the problem will not happen again. Because that shit was and is just unacceptable.

And how are foreign leaders supposed to view this? I mean, yeah, nothing happened BUT something could easily have happened. THINK about this. You can barely get on an airplane nowadays with a valid fucking purchased ticket! And even if you do you can't bring on anything bigger than a penny! They shook hands with the POTUS! They actually took a picture WITH the VPOTUS!! In the above linked article they mention they went through magnetometers. I assume those are basically a fancy name for metal detectors. Have these assholes ever heard of poison? Maybe homeland security and the tsa need to handle the parties at the White House from now on. I mean they could have hurt M. Night Shyamalan, man! I like his movies.

And I hope everyone who has read this far noticed that I didn't write the names of the two morons because why would I?

That's all I have on this. LAterz.

T

Addendum: Upon further thought, this couple doesn't need to be punished. They made a bet. They won. They bet if they looked white enough and looked liked they had money enough they could get through the door. Criminal charges need to be brought against the secret service agents at each checkpoint responsible for checking the damn guests. This couple just showed up, the secret service should have turned them around at the gate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eye of the Beholder

(This is going to be stream of conscious, so, no purposeful offense is meant.)

All right! Beauty. Pretty. Oooooh WEE you good lookin'! Many things make up what one finds attractive. Attraction is more than just the physical. For some that's all it is but most people realize that there is more to attraction than what the eyes see. Some people have very set criteria and do not stray from that. That may seem shallow to some, and in most cases it is, but we like what we like. I have no criteria, however, I am very aware of the attributes that I find most attractive in the opposite sex. And as an adult looking back I know where my mind picked up those attributes as most attractive. When I was damn near still a baby is when the physical attributes began to set. Before I continue, let's list them:
Tall - (well I was really small so of course all women were tall)
Slim - with long legs!
Smooth Chocolate skin -(from brown to dark chocolate)
Balanced proportions - meaning can't be all T no A or all A no T. Gotta have both in nice proportion.
Pretty Face - this one is very subjective, I know, but so is this whole post really. Look, I gotta be able to look at you in the morning. I don't need to be flinching when I see you when I first wake up. (Go' head and laugh, but you know I'm right.) With a pretty enough face I can forgo the proportion thing, too.

Real simple. The obvious example of these three attributes was the first woman I ever knew; my Mommie. She had a sister, my aunt, who used to take me everywhere with her. At that time she also embodied these attributes. Then when I went to live with my father, the woman he was with was also the perfect amalgam of those three attributes. And also one of his oldest friends who was around quite a lot in those early years. Naturally my mind assimilated this information and attributed these attributes to the girls my age as I grew.

I have not just stuck to those physical attractions as I've grown up though. I've dated and been with women who do NOT fit those attributes in any way. That's also another way that I know what I find most attractive because when I'm with someone that doesn't have one or all of them I am quite aware of it. It's not a distracting or detracting awareness, it just is. There are those who would argue that the physical ultimately doesn't matter, and about .02% of them really mean it. The rest of the people who say that are LYING to themselves. Physical attraction DOES matter! It is not the most important thing in a relationship but it does matter. With that said, for the longest time I was not attracted to any big girls whatsoever. Not physically. Just wasn't going to happen, no matter how nice she was or how well we got along. That was when I was young though. I've since grown a bit in the last couple of years. ;-) I'll be completely honest and tell you exactly who changed my mind about big girls: Jill Scott. She was so damn PRETTY! And that VOICE! That combination made me look past the size a bit and realize that not all big girls are fat girls. Jill was a big girl but she wasn't sloppy looking. She looked healthy and carried herself well. Talk about a personal revelation. So when I see a woman now that doesn't automatically fit into the slim category, I actually pay more attention to how she carries herself. Some people are just built to hold weight. Can't help genetics. However, if you know that's the hand you're dealt, deal with it. A big girl that carries her weight well, is healthy and can keep up with me is no problem. I do have a problem with a girl being fat and lazy with it. (Well I have a problem with anyone, not just girls, being fat and lazy but that's just...forget it.) That shit is just not attractive to me, period. It amazed me when I found out there's guys who find fat/obese women attractive. I know there's supposed to be someone for everyone, but that still makes know sense to me. Oh well. I know there's going to be someone who says you just don't like big girls 'cause you can't handle one. Wrong. I can and I have. On more than one occasion. but that body type is not what I find attractive. Now, I have family and friends that are big or fat or a little overweight and they know my position. They don't hold it against me. This isn't judgement, and I hope no one reads this as such. This is just a catharsis of what I like in women.

Which leads to the non-physical attributes I like, which are harder to lay out in words. Personalities are made up of so much and there's an unlimited combination so there's nothing perfect in this arena. Close for some but not perfect. I will attempt to make a list here:
Confident - can go against the grain with no problem. What other people think doesn't matter.
Aggressive - this goes with confidence but is a bit more. Not masculine just a bit more forward in action.
Feminine - Have to list this because of the previous two. I'm not into butch girls. I like tomboys that still know how to be ladies.
Unafraid to try new things
Unafraid to try ordinary things - If you can't go swimming 'cause of your damn hair, stay the fuck away from me. Silly shit like that just pisses me off. I'd understand if you JUST got it done but other than that, get away.

See, it's harder to list non-physical qualities because there are so many intricacies when it comes to personalities. But personality is more important than physical attractiveness. At least for me it is, which is why I've been able to date women who, if you were just going off of looks, I would never date. I was this way even when I was pretty young. I dated a girl in 7th grade that all my friends were all like, "WHY?!" It was simple, I liked her and she liked me. Physically, not my preferred match, but who she was was more than that and that was enough. (Funny, I just realized this was way before my Jill Scott revelation. I guess I must have regressed a little bit since my teenage years. Thanks for bringing me back Jill.) One thing I must add is that you have to like yourself. If you don't like you how in the hell do you expect someone else to like you. I mean to have a healthy relationship. That's the only way to have a truly healthy relationship. Can't think of any more right now. I may edit this later or just do a continuing post. All for now on this.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Here is an example of the physical attributes I find most appealing.(click the pic to view it larger)



(Please be careful with any comments in reference to the young woman in this picture please.)
This is Veronica. She was 5'8", 34C-26-35. And a nice smooth chocolate. Yum!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Bluray madness

Last week I stumbled across Best Buy having a super duper sale on BluRay movies. Ooooookayyyyy. We know of my consumerism weaknesses. Also when that sale ended, it was only for a week!, I came here, cruising around to see if my other favorite places to buy shit were having a BR sale as well. WELL, lucky (unlucky?) me! Amazon just so happened to be having a BR sale, too. I didn't go super crazy, though. I have some standards. Usually before I buy a movie on bluray I check this website, which is pretty good at rating BR discs. Mostly I check it for movies that came out before the advent of Bluray to see how the transfers are. If the dvd I have is pretty good and the transfer isn't that great then I don't need the BR. Also, I mostly want movies with serious action and/or super fx on BR. Don't really need dramas on BR. I do, however, have some on BR but they're newer. I really don't need The Color Purple or Girl, Interrupted, or The Joy Luck Club on BR. I'm sure they'd look great (maybe) but big deal. BR is mostly for the newer films being made that will/can take advantage of the tech. (Perfect examples: for drama, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [a must own on hd digest] and for action, The Dark Knight.) BUT with modern tech some older movies actually transfer to BR very well. A very good example is Enter The Dragon. Yes, THAT one. The movie that made Master Bruce Lee a truly international star. 1973!!!!! The transfer is actually very good. For an old ass film. Also, I absolutely REFUSE!!!!! to buy a barebones BR disc! I have super duper editions of dvd's and I'm going to pay for a less than mediocre BR disc?! C'mon Son! Fuck outta here with that shit! (For those of you who have know idea what barebones means, it is when a disc just has the movie and no extras whatsoever. Not even a bullshit making of. Nothing!) This is the 21st century! I need extras, damnit! ESPECIALLY if the the dvd release had extras. Anyways, because it was a super duper sale I figured I'd mix getting some double dips with new purchases:

Double dips:
Casino Royale- GREAT on BR!
Quantum of Solace- Makes know sense how good this movie looks on BR! Also, I feel the need to mention this is a REALLY good movie. Really good!
Serenity- Gotta love the sci-fi goodness.
Sin City- This movie was MADE for BR!!!!!! Sick how good this looks on BR and a big ass screen!
The Bourne Trilogy- GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Batman Begins- Couldn't resist. Worth it though.
The Dark Knight- I already know this is going to look AWESOME on BR!
Ghost in the Shell 2.0- Don't let the title fool you. This is the original anime just redone a bit. That's what the 2.0 is for. If I had previewed this first I probably wouldn't have gotten it. It's still good though.
Enter the Dragon- Nice!
Twister- I like this movie. The review was good so I figured what the hell. Plus it's kind of fx heavy, what with tornadoes everywhere and shit so it fits my criteria.
Big Trouble In Little China- One of my favorite movies of all time! This is kind of old, too, but it actually transfered really well. (That is an unbiased opinion in case you were wondering.)
New:
Jumper- I liked this movie so I got it.
The BBC Earth Collection: Planet Earth and Earth: The Biography- I likes learning! Plus, hd digest has this as recommended, which means it's really good. (And do not mention the Disney earth joint that came out please. That was actually compiled from the footage in the BBC Planet Earth. I like originals!)

Yesterday, I also got 3 more BR's. They were on sale at BJ's for really cheap so I was like okay. Damn my consumerism minded mind!

Wyatt Earp - I love this movie and the price was right.
Dark City - I actually can't remember if I saw this. I think I did. The description on the back seemed familiar. hd digest actually has this as recommended so I lucked out. Plus it's Sci-Fi.
Alexander Revisited: I did like this. And it was recommended. I actually remembered that while I was in the store so it was an easy decision.

That all for now. LAterz!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recent music

We've already established I'm quite the consumer. Though I have been saving rather responsibly, like I stated in the linked post, I buy what I like. And it's been a while since I did a music post. Know particular order. Annnd herrrre weeee go!:

Well I have to start off with The Blueprint 3. My man Jay-Z. I must say this is some of the best hip-hop and rap music I have heard in a long time. He KILLED it with this album! I'm talking about EVERY SINGLE SONG is off the chain good. Jay hasn't showed this much of himself since Reasonable Doubt. Stylistically they are identical albums. Reasonable Doubt, Jay's first, was a straight up outpouring of his life experiences up until the point of the album. Well, that's exactly what Blueprint 3 is, an outpouring of his experiences since Reasonable Doubt. Since this is a full music post, I'ma end this here. I think I need to do a post just about this album later.

Just as, if not more important to me, is the release of The Chair in the Doorway, the new album from Living Colour. I must say it is good to have the guys back together and making some awesome music again. I've been a fan since '88 when I first saw the video for Cult of Personality. I have every album. They sound way more cohesive and focused on this album than the last one. I'm still in the process of digesting this album but know that I LOVE IT! Great music from a great band.

Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, Alice in Chains found a new singer and have released a new album, Black Gives Way to Blue. I must say they found a great lead singer 'cause he fits right into the sound that the band is famous for. It's also interesting to note that the singer, William DuVall, is Black which I think is massive cool. Not enough Black people representing in rock these days. At least not in the spotlight anyway. Ever since I found out about this I wondered if the rest of the band noticed any ignorance at their shows and in fan responses. And by ignorance I mean ethnic prejudice. I'm sure they have and I wonder what the original members think about it. Anyways, the album is good. I just got it so, like the above, I'm still digesting it but I like it.

Back to hip-hop and rap. Q-tip released Kamaal the Abstract and Grand Puba released Retroactive. Both of these cats are from the old-school but they still make very good music. In the last couple of months I've been collecting Boot Camp Click albums. So far I've got, Casualties of War, Chosen Few, and Still for the People. Also from the Duck Down camp, I've acquired Shell Shock the solo album by Rock of Heltah Skeltah. Do I need to say all of these are GOOD!

The Black Crowes have released a double album called, Before the Frost...Until the Freeze. I must say that I like this release a hell of a lot better than their last one, Warpaint. Something about Warpaint I just didn't like that much. Still don't. It's not a bad album just...I don't know. This new one, however, is great! And a really cool thing about the release is the CD is Before the Frost and ...Until the Freeze is a download. There's a card in the CD sleeve with a code and website. I thought that was just brilliant. Great use of technology. I've previously posted about the Black Crowes, so I'll refrain from gushing about them now. But they are one of my favorite bands.

OH! OH! I almost forgot! Megadeth has a new album, too! Endgame. I've been a fan of Megadeth ever since my friend Chris let me listen to Rust In Peace (years ago!!), which to me is still one of THE BEST metal albums EVAR!!!!!! For that alone I will always be a fan. Thematically, leader Dave Mustain has always kept the band on course from album to album, and he is still on course. His observations and speculations of America and it's relation to the world has been a seemingly, and quite possible obsession, but he does it well. It still hasn't gotten old. At least not to me. I think Endgame is awesome.

And, oh yes, M.O.P.!!!! Finally The First Family has released an official studio album. FOUNDATION! This whole album is FYRE!!! Almost makes me wish I was from Brooklyn this album is so damn good. Almost. (I am from the South Bronx!!!!) But yeah, if you're a fan of straight hardbody Hip-Hop you needs to get this now!

And speaking of hardbody Hip-Hop, I cannot believe I almost forgot to mention Only Built for Cuban Linx Pt. II the classic follow up to a classic! Chef Raekwon is still cookin' up some marvelous shit to get your mouth watered! And of course Ghostface Killah is along ridin' shotgun and most of the Wu and a few extended crew is coming behind in the backup vehicle to make sure you get it.

And keeping it Wu, Ghost just dropped a new album, Ghostdini The Wizard of Poetry. All I have to say is this is Ghost doin' Ghost! If you're a fan you already know.

Damn, I KNEW I was forgetting something important. Returning to Duck Down we have Survival Skills the collabo album from The Blastmaster KRS-ONE and Buckshot. Talk about some great Hip-Hop. Some people say the old-school ain't in touch with modern times BUT KRS and Buck released the single Robot, which is about auto-tune and everbody sounding the same, BEFORE Jay released D.O.A. Of course I'm not saying nothing against Jay, I'm just sayin'.... This is a very good album. And it's KRS AND Buckshot! Come on!

Oh yeah, I know I'm mad late but I just got LL's Exit 13. I must say I feel kinda bad for waiting so long to get it because it's really good. I said kinda because the reason I waited was the previous two albums I wasn't too impressed with.

It's been a minute already but I guess I should mention Blackout 2 from my boys Method Man and Redman. We already know how they do. This is still on heavy rotation with me. Come on, TWO premier emcees killin' it. And also B.O.M.B.S. by the combustible Busta Rhymes. Busta is an elite lyricist, no question, but he has never released an album that was consistently good all the way through, just my opinion of course. This is the first time I put on one of his albums and felt no need to hit the skip button. At all. Busta has finally released an album on par with his lyrical prowess. I'm really happy about that, too.

And I just remembered some more. JEEZE! This year seemed like the year for awesome collaborations in music. First up Streetsweeper Social Club, the collabo of Boots Riley, from awesome Hip-Hop/Rap group The Coup, and Tom Morello of the phenomenal bands RATM and Audioslave. Both of these artists have rather intense soci0-political slants in the music they create so as unlikely as this collaboration may seem on the surface, it couldn't be a more perfect fit.

And then we have Slaughterhouse, a super collective of seriously not-to-be-fucked-with battle emcees. Royce the 5'9", Joe Budden, Crooked I, and the relative newcomer Joell Ortiz. All ready this may sound like a recipe for disaster, however, THIS SHIT WORKS! WELL! These four cats bring their individual styles and bravados and go all out on every track yet the stereotypical rapper egos do not get in the way. At all. These cats know what they each bring to the crew and there is a mutual respect for each other that is very apparent on the whole album. But you know every time they each got in the booth they were trying to murder each other! But they're having fun with it, despite being deadly serious about the art of emceeing. I am so still feeling this album. This is another one that is on super heavy rotation for a long time. By the way I must mention my favorite track is titled, 'Cuckoo'. That shit is hilarious!

And lastly we come to Chickenfoot, the collabo album from four veterans of Rock'N'Roll! Sammy Hagar on vox, Michael Anthony of Van Halen on bass, Chad Smith of the RHCP on drums, and the stupendously awesome Joe Satriani on guitar! To be honest with you there are very few ways that this can go wrong. All of these guys have been around for a very long time in music, so, they're just jammin' and coming up with some very cool, very good, straight to the gut, no bullshit Rock and Roll. Period. The musicianship on this album is second to none and yet you can tell these guys are just having fun and doing it well. Oh yeah, I must also mention the CD sleeve because they used a special heat sensitive ink on it. In normal temperature the sleeve is black but if you press your hand to it or breathe on it, like your trying to fog up a window, then your see each of the four guys in some performance pose. Just a cool little somethin' to go along with the awesome music. Very cool.

I think that is about it. No wait, just remembered some more. I rarely buy R&B stuff but I have some I must mention.

Maxwell's BLACKsummers'night is very very good. And newcomer Laura Izibor's album, Let The Truth Be Told is actually very good. You wouldn't expect a black chick from Dublin, Ireland to express so much soul (Betcha didn't even think there were Black people IN Ireland! Shows how much you know. We're everywhere!), but she does. And she does it well. I implore you to leave your preconceptions and prejudices at the door and check her out.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm tired. I'm sure there's a few more but I can't remember them and really don't feel like typing anymore anyway. Maybe I'll do the BluRay/DVD list next. LAterz.

Aikido

I've been interested in aikido for a number of years and finally found the time and a dojo/sensei I felt comfortable with about a year ago (I am actually a bit embarrassed that this is my first post about it). What really intrigued me about aikido is that it is a martial art that emphasizes balance between defensive and offensive combat. It is not about meeting force with force. To look at and, to be honest, practice, most other martial arts are mostly offensive combat arts. Understandably so if you know anything of human history, know matter what culture you explore. But aikido, looking at and practicing, is very defensive. However, the martial aspect is very present. Just look at some early Steven Seagal movies. Though the main focus of aikido, at least to me, is to redirect the aggressive energy from an opponent back at that opponent with as little violence as possible, you realize that in properly controlling the energy of the opponent you actually control the opponent physically. And with that control you can really do some damage. Now I have no problem with a straight up fight but I don't really like to and if there is a better way to put someone down without damaging myself, which is more likely meeting force with force, then I'm all for it. And by redirecting their force and putting them down I can choose to hurt them or not. I like the control and the choice. And I'm a bit obsessed with balance so this happens to be a perfect martial art for me. I've done others but this is by far the most comfortable fit for me, though I must say I'm actually glad of my previous martial arts experience. Recent situations and my current school schedule have made it very difficult to go and I SO miss practicing! My only available time to go to the dojo is Monday and I really need to start going again even if it is only one day a week because I really miss it (I did it last fall semester so I'm just being a bit of a slacker this year. I suck.) Anyways, the reason for this post is my sensei, Gary Snyder, posted a short documentary on fb about his dojo/art gallery space. I've told anyone who'll listen about how super cool this space is and the documentary shows the space and how super cool it is, so now you can SEE it. I'd like to also add that if you live in NYC and you are interested in aikido let me know and I'll give you the info on the dojo so you can come and check it out. Watch the documentary below.



See! Very cool! You even get a glimpse of Shuji Maruyama sensei, the founder of Kokikai Aikido, the style of aikido I am learning. He taught Gary sensei. My very first class that I participated in was instructed by Maruyama sensei himself, which I took as a very positive sign that I should stick with this dojo! Maruyama sensei lives in Japan and only travels to the States once or twice a year so my very first class was kinda special to me. I've since been on the mat with sensei a few more times since and let me tell you first hand, he is NO JOKE! Tossed me like a ragdoll. Interestingly it is rather fun and uncannily hysterical to be thrown by him. I assume it's his energy. Even when he's manipulating your body like a puppet there's no aggression or negative energy. He just radiates so much positive energy that when you're picking yourself up off of the mat you find yourself laughing. Trust me, it isn't just me. It happens with everyone I've seen him demonstrate on. Even Gary sensei.

I need to go back.

Monday, September 28, 2009

OMFG!! WTF!!

Okay, I am seriously not liking the entertainment industry right now. First we have this bullshit that my man David blogged about here. I mean really?!!! Highlander is just too fucking cool to be messed with. Yeah it has some little plot issues, what movie doesn't? But a remake?! WTF! I gotta do the Ed Lover right now: C'MON SON!! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE WITH THAT SHIT! Why must hollywood and tvland remake everyfuckingthing! All the novels, stories, and screenplays being written and published out there and they still go back to fucking up perfectly fine films and shows and damn good MEMORIES! And now we have this bullshit as well! (That's two separate links if you didn't notice.) TEEN WOLF?! FOR REALZ?! And MTV, too?! I mean forget the cheese of it being an 80's movie, it's classic! If for know other reason that it was a completely new take on the werewolf mystique. I mean, they already did a not too bad sequel. This is SO unnecessary. I am certain there are a few more things on the horizon that are being touched that SHOULD NOT BE but these executive assholes and nostalgic idiots can't seem to help themselves. And I just don't have the heart to go looking for any more right now. I mean I know there is some good and new stuff on the horizon but not enough to make this shit okay.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Astrology

Just found out a new friend of mine, Mike's, Bornday is Sept. 3, which makes him a Virgo. I now know why him and I get along so well. I'm not a new wavy super duper astrological freak or anything, however, I do think there is more truth than not in the reading of the stars and planets. Here's my minimal proof. I have a rather strong bond to my mother. Before you scoff and/or laugh, know that not everyone does. I know, a few are friends of mine. Anyways, my parents weren't together at any point in my life really. My father had the bulk time of raising me. Fortunately for me my parents remained very good friends throughout my life and so I've always spent time with my mother growing up without much drama. My earliest years were with my mother and her side of the family. It wasn't until I had been on the planet a few years and my features formed enough that it was undeniable I was my father's child that he took responsibility for my existence. My mother was okay with this. We've since had conversations about it obviously. WELL, most of those early years with my Pop I was constantly wishing to be with my mother. Pop was strict! As an adult I see the necessity for me being with my father. Both parents are best, obviously, but things don't always work the way we think they're supposed to. Anyhows, because my focus for so many years was to be with my Mommie, whenever we were together was just the most funnest time ever and the spans of time were so brief that I'd developed a very strong emotional tie to her. To the point of this post, my mother is a Virgo. Next: During my teenage years, specifically the summer before high school, I met the person that would become one of the most important people to me outside of my blood family. My spirit-brother and best friend, David. I really hope you've figured out that he is also a Virgo. Him and I have been friends JUST over 19 years now. There's very few people I hold as close to me as I do David, blood or no. There's been a few other Virgos I've met over the years and I'm still friends with all of them. Not to say I'm only friends with Virgos but I usually have a strong connection with them. Which brings us back to Mike. It's been almost exactly a year since we met. New job. He happens to be one of the most level headed and responsible people I've ever met and the fact that he's so young and that balanced is amazing to me. I know adults older than me that aren't half as good at life as Mike is. Over the last year we've talked a bit and knowing more of his background I can easily see how he pieced himself together into the young man he is. BUT he also could have went a completely different way, too. I think the fact that he chose the path that he is currently on is so cool. Reminds me of David a lot actually. And that's why when I found out he was a Virgo, especially an early Sept. Virgo, I was like no wonder! Mommie and David are both first week Sept. Virgos as well. So with that, HAPPY BORNDAY! to Mike, Mommie and David! Also to Melinda and Michelle!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Metallica's 'Battery'

WELL. Just watched a particular video my friend Brian put up over on facebook. It is a German acapella cover of Metallica's 'Battery'. I'll put my comments after the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni6MFKEVrMU


You know, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this being that Battery is one of my favorite Metallica songs. However, I am impressed. That took some serious effort and dedication which I always respect when done in some form of positive light.... And they're obviously Metallica fans so they can't be that bad. I noticed that their other youtube videos pretty much seem to be covers of heavy metal songs. I never would have even thought that was possible if I hadn't just seen it. WOW!!!!

Here's the original song:


And here's the same song done with a symphony, which some people didn't like but I happen to love!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Movies: District 9 and inglorious Basterds and other things

Well it has been about two weeks since the last time. I know you missed me. Anyways, I've been to the movies twice in that time. Saw District 9 and Inglorious Basterds. I enjoyed both immensely while I was watching them and immediately afterwards. They are both very different films and therefore cannot truly be compared, which I will not do, however I did like one more than the other. Let's get to it:

District 9

I really, really liked this film. The story was good, the FX were wonderful, and the action was great. My Sci-Fi geek was completely satisfied. My action junkie was totally pleased. My social conscious was not so easily appeased. And my social conscious is a rather strong part of me so I couldn't even switch it off while I was watching the movie. The most I could do was put it as far back in my mind as possible and let the other two enjoy themselves.
First: The aliens looked GREAT! The CGI used for them was absolutely phenomenal. Their social behaviour not so much. The story begins after they have been on earth for twenty years. A bit of backstory in the form of interviews tells how they got here and were established on the land alloted for them, designated District 9. Well after twenty years these aliens seem to have become the stereotypical sloppy, nasty, uneducated, and violent inhabitants of a slum. (Being an american of African descent these stereotypes strike a particular soft spot. Not so long ago the collective white populace thought this way about all non-whites. Some of 'em still do.) It's inferred that they were just workers on the ship they came on, so, I guess that is the reason for their apparent unsophistication. Personally I don't buy it. I don't care if they are just workers, they are workers on a SPACESHIP! That alone, to me, tells me they are more advanced than us. This intelligence I know should be there is exhibited in three of the aliens. THREE! And one of them is a child. These three for the entire twenty years were the only members of their race stuck on this planet trying to get off. For real?
Second: The humans were shown pretty much the way they needed to be with one exception. The Nigerians, the human criminal element among the aliens, were stereotypically and quite offendingly completely uncivilized. To properly explain this I gotta reveal the main movie plot so, you know, SPOILER ALERT for those of you who haven't seen this or don't know the story yet. Basically the main character, Wikus, is supposed to get the aliens ready to move to a new location. While going in and out of their 'homes' he finds something of interest in one of them with some liquid in it. Moron sprays himself with it. Begins turning into an alien. For the majority of the movie the extent of his transformation is his left arm has become an alien arm. And here's the rub. The aliens weapons are basically genetically coded so only they can use them. The company Wikus works for is private not gov't and they want to dissect him once they prove he can fire the aliens' weapons. Typical corporation. He gets away. Only one place to go. Distrct 9, of course. Things happen while he is hiding out. He needs weapons, goes to the local criminal element, the Nigerians. His arm is discovered. The Nigerian warlord wants to cut his arm off and EAT IT to grow one like it so he, too, can use the weapons. DOES THIS MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE?! Now, to Neill Blomkamp's (screenwriter and director) ignorant credit, he ESTABLISHES this scenario a bit earlier by showing the warlord taking the advice of his, I guess, female spiritual adviser/witchdoctor and eating killed aliens raw to absorb their power. Oh realllllllly asshole. Don't get me wrong. I know those beliefs existed and still do. BUT this is a man who runs a rather SUCCESSFUL criminal enterprise, has the presence of mind to stockpile a cache of the aliens' weapons even though he can't use them, just like the big evil corporation, so there has to be some above primitive intelligence here, yes? And when his solution walks right in his front door, UNLIKE said corporation, his solution is to eat the arm. WHAT THE FUCK? You couldn't come up with anything MORE INTELLIGENT than that. I came up with a very usable and more intelligent solution as I was watching the damn movie and was DUMBFOUNDED though NOT surprised at what was used. Real simple: cut the arm off, hollow it out, and use it like a glove. I mean COME ON! Wouldn't that have been more intelligent not to mention more FUCKING BELIEVABLE! I mean, it's not like the warlord was going to achieve his goal anyway, right? He just gets to blurt out his intentions before they get thrashed, right?! So where is the harm in making the man sound just a little bit intelligent as befits his status as a warlord running a SUCCESSFUL CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE! Can you tell I'm completely disgusted about this? (Don't get me wrong. I understand that people like this probably exist but it wasn't necessary to put them in this supposedly intelligent sci-fi flick.) I shouldn't be surprised as this tale comes out of and was filmed in the land of apartheid. I'm not saying Neill Blomkamp is a bigot or racist, but certain stereotypes and old cultural norms have a hard time dying. American cinema is not much different, still, and we know the history of this country, don't we? The excellent movie Alien Nation and it's even better television series did this scenario much better.
Otherwise, though now it doesn't seem like it to you, I did enjoy the movie. I've been dealing with shit like this in movies my entire life so I know how to roll with it. But I don't view quietly, so to speak.

Inglorious Basterds

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Quentin does the damn thing once again. Let me open with this: I went to see this in the daytime, early afternoon. When I see new films the day they open I like to see them then because most people are still at work or wherever and not at the movies. Opening nights are a hell I can't stand. NO patience for waiting in line for tickets, only to wait on another line inside just to get into the theater I JUST bought a ticket for. I find that obviously annoying. Also, the theater is FULL, which isn't bad unless you are at the back of the second line. And if you're with someone it's worse. Anyways, I like the afternoon. So I buy my ticket an hour early, go burn about fifty minutes and get inside about ten minutes before, like I usually do. I almost didn't have a seat. Imagine my surprise! That has never happened before, and I've been doing this for a while now. SO, I get my seat and I'm looking around and I notice a LOT of white hair and old faces. I'm still oblivious until I hear the couple on my left speak. The woman has a bit of an accent and it dawns on me: There's a LOT of old Jewish people here to see Quentin's re-imagining of WWII. My brain continues to work. They've been WAITING for something like this FOR A LONG TIME! I understand. They've never had a conscious communal catharsis of the massive amount of fear and anger they must harbor within. I mean, look at how they've protected the memory of what happened to them as a people. Every film dealing with their holocaust has been so meticulously dour, melancholy, and damn near depressing. Even the recent film, Defiance, which was about a small band of Jewish resisters, was not really a catharsis of negative emotion. Just another factual reminder of how little resistance was given. Who wants to see that ALL THE TIME! I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with those true to life factual depictions of such a horrific period, but something has to give! And to be perfectly honest there was no one better to open the floodgates of such emotion than Mr. Quentin Tarantino. Talk about catharsis! It's human to want revenge, even if it is fictional. TRUST ME! I know. My own ancestors had their own holocaust right here and to be perfectly honest there is no way to take revenge for such things other than fictionally, other than educating those that follow so that the same things don't happen again. Back to the movie. Yeah, brilliant. No one could have played the part of the leader of the Inglorious Basterds better than Brad Pitt. I guess that's why Quentin wrote the part just for him in the first place. Brad is hilarious in this. (SPOILER ALERT) Especially near the end when he's pretending to be Italian along with two of his Basterds. I was cryin' I was laughing so hard! The one thing I really, really liked about this film was that Quentin didn't make the nazi's evil caricatures. They were people, misguidedly evil yes, but they were people with real human emotions and real human reactions. The main antagonist, Col. Landa was wonderfully acted and developed. He was a detective and his main job in the beginning of the film is to hunt Jews in France. And he is good at his job. This, among other things, is why I think the catharsis truly works. You see the monsters are just people and can be dealt with. And they were dealt with! Col. Landa, upon finding out a woman he actually likes is a traitor, is crying as he kills her. That scene was really well done and acted by Christoph Waltz. You could see and feel the betrayal he felt when he jumped up and wrapped his hands around her neck, and the tears running down his face as he strangled her to death. Another nazi, Zoller, is portrayed as a regular young man who wants a girl, Shosanna, to like him. At the end, the nice guy role drops as he gets tired of being rejected. He's a nazi war hero, the film she's showing in her theater is about the event that made him a hero, and his arrogant superiority comes out because of his frustration of being turned down by this girl who should be flattered he even gives her his attention at all. The nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, who made the film about Zoller, is given the highest compliment he's ever received from the man himself, Adolf. Adolf tells him as they are watching the film that it is the best work he's ever done. Joseph actually breaks out in tears and can barely thank Adolf for the compliment, he's so overwhelmed. See? Human. Just really had fucked up views of the world is all. And they needed to get dealt with. And in this film they get DEALT WITH! In particular Quentin style the story is told from the multiple viewpoints of the protagonists. With the exception of Lt. Aldo, played wonderfully by Brad, all of the Basterds are Jewish soldiers except one who's German. And though the title of the movie is the name of their little group the film is not just about them. It's very well fleshed out and well done. The story of Shosanna is set in motion because of the actions of Col. Landa. He kills her family and almost kills her, so, when she is presented with the opportunity to take out a bunch of nazi's, including Landa, she takes it. It's the opening scene and you get to see how intelligent Col. Landa is. The Inglorious Basterds are terror style shock troops and they do their job well! I'll leave the rest alone, just go see it! I will repeat though, Jewish people have been waiting for a film like this for a long time and they needed it. (They were all clapping at the end so I feel confident in my assessment.) I'm happy for them and I'm happy with them.

Now to the other things. My blogging anniversary passed and I didn't even notice until my best friend David mentioned his was coming up. Since I started mine before his I realized my anniversary had just passed. Well, I'm actually glad I got to do this post for my blogging anniversary. I'll be starting classes again at Fordham University in about a week. I'm dually looking forward to it and dreading it. But I'll be fine. I always am. Things are moving along. I'm still looking for a new place to live but I'm good. That all for now. Thanks for checking in. Until next time, LAter.

Monday, August 10, 2009

FOUND IT!!!!

Interesting the small connections that are life. Being a kid in the early 80's and a fan of stories, written and visual, I was drawn to the fantastic. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the most fantastical of fantasticals, Sword and Sorcery. I LOVED sword and sorcery fantasy as a kid. I still have a soft spot for it today, though my tastes tend more towards harder Science Fiction and less Fantasy. However, Little Tarrell, who still has some control in me, is still very much in love with those sword and sorcery fantasy stories. I must be honest though, Big Tarrell is still a huge fan of Conan. But I'm talking about the past here.

A long, long, longlonglong, time ago, I was sitting in front of the television and I was watching one of the coolest most fantastical movies I'd ever seen. I don't remember the details or plot of the movie. All I do remember are there were warriors, a dwarf, and an elf on some sort of mission. In particular there are only two things I remember about this film. One: the elf was the coolest character EVAR! The elf shot arrows like a machine gun. That was SO COOL to a kid like me. Analyzing the images as an adult now I realize the camera trick they did to do that but the childhood memory ignores such things and sticks with COOL! Two: One specific scene. These band of companions are trying to get information out of this one person who just isn't talking. Yet he has a reputation for being a blabbermouth. SO, the warriors stake him down to the ground (in a forest of course) and string a VERY heavy mace directly above his face. They put the other end of the rope in his mouth and walk away. If he keeps his mouth shut, someone may come along and help him. If he can't keep his mouth shut, bye-bye birdie! Well, I remember there was a short scream followed by a rather large thunk not long after the band of companions rode off. Off camera of course. Even at that young an age I understood what happened. COOL!

SO, many, many years later, I'm an adult and I remember these little bits about this movie. What I don't remember is the damn NAME of the thing! SO, I'm at work, on the computer, in the very early stages of the intarnets and search every way possible I can but cannot find the title to the damn movie. I give up. Many, many more years pass. I periodically remember the film but never sit back down to search again. The intarnets have improved exponentially but the initial devastation of that first search just left me feeling it was pointless to try. WELL, imagine my surprise when I found it today, not more than about 15 minutes ago. Here's what happened:

I had a tab up for an article on MSN called, 40 fantastic time wasting websites. I click on one in particular because of it's description: "A must-try for any music or film fanatic, LivePlasma helps you find new movies and music by building interactive maps around your current favorites. It's like six degrees of separation, customized to your cultural interests." Well, if you know me at all, you know that that description is something I'm just NOT going to resist! I fart around with some initial things then PING! a light goes off in my brain. I'm talking about a lightbulb popping up lit up over my head just like in old cartoons. Six degrees of separation for movies? I can search for that elusive movie with the cool elf! I have a BUNCH of favorite fantasy movies from back then and that elusive movie with the cool elf just HAS to be a degree or two away from one of those! And I know the PERFECT movie to try first: The Sword and the Sorcerer! Come ON! How could that NOT pull up what I'm looking for? If this website is worth it's code and wishes to justify it's existence, it MUST have what I'm looking for! Well, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you HAWK THE SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!



I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THIS FOR YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, when I first saw the thumbnail image of it on the site I nearly jumped up and down like a retard 'cause I just KNEW I found it. But I had to be sure. I went to IMDB to check the plot summary. In my mind Little Tarrell screamed at the top of his lungs, "I FOUND IT!!!!!!!" I must say I really do love when I make that kid happy. Big Tarrell knows going in that this movie is gonna look cheesy as hell, but he knows how to take a backseat and let Little Tarrell have his fun every once in a while, so yeah, I'm gonna get it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

SF spree

Okay, so a while ago my best friend David mentions that amazon.com is having a sale on everything SF on the site. Pretty much half off of everything SF! You KNOW I couldn't resist that! Me being the SF freak that I am and the admitted consumer that I am I had to go and look, knowing I would not be able to resist a mini buying spree. Now usually when I get into one of these spending modes I just pick damn near everything I feel like buying at the time, which is ALWAYS a lot. Then right before I'm ready to purchase, I begin to wheedle down the items I have usually according to what I really really want and the prices. I do this online and in the store as well. Anyways, since I was online and it was a super duper sale I put everything that I wanted in my wishlist 'cause I didn't want it all in my cart and then make a bad mistake. I picked from my wishlist and still got rid of stuff after it was in my cart just cause I'm so weak and gotta push it to the absolute limit. SO, what did I get? Here's a list:

1. Eureka - Season One
2. Eureka - Season Two
3. Eureka - Season 3.0
4. Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete Box Set BluRay
5. Firefly: The Complete Series BluRay
6. Patrmony: A Pip and Flinx Adventure (book)

You'd think I was done, and so did I, however about two weeks later I get an email from amazon.com telling me that it's the last days of the big SF sale! Needless to say my mind was blown! I can get more?! See, I thought the sale was over. In stores the sales usually only last a week, so, I figured I got what I really wanted at the time so cool. WELL! It had been just over two weeks! I have MORE MONEY!!!!! See where this is going? I'll just get to the second list now:

7. Crossworlds
8. Supernova
9. They Live
10. Alien Nation - The Complete Series
11. Alien Nation - Ultimate Movie Collection
12. Stargate (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray]
13. Samurai 7: Box Set (Viridian Collection)
14.
The Arrival [Blu-ray]

Well that's it. A bit about the purchases. I've only caught a few of the episodes of the Eureka series but every one I've seen I've liked, plus I'm a huge admirer/fan of Salli Richardson and Joe Morton, so I got 'em all. I saw the trailer for Shigurui on my Afro Samurai 2 dvd and was blown away, so I just said fuck it. And you know the trailer had to be REALLY good for me not only to buy it but get the BluRay, too. Firefly, because, you know, it's just GOOD. David had it already and showed me all the good episodes and I loved Serenity, so, no brainer here. Been a Pip and Flinx fan since the early days, been reading these a LONG time, so, again, no brainer. Always liked Crossworlds, mostly 'cause Rutger Hauer is in it, and when I first saw it I hadn't seen him in a film in a LONG time. Ever since Blade Runner I've been a Rutger fan/admirer. And I really liked the way they portrayed dimensional travel. Supernova is a space sci-fi film starring Angela Basset and James Spader. No brainer! It was also really good. I'm not one of those crazy fanboys that will just get something 'cause someone I like is in it. I'll check it out for that reason, but I'll only buy it if it's good. Where am I? Oh yeah, They Live. Do I really need to explain this? No, I don't think so. If you don't know, I can't help you. One word. CLASSIC!!!!!!! Onwards. Alien Nation: I got both of these because I am a huge admirer of the series and the tv films and I loved the original film. It is still one of the best Sci-Fi films to me and the series actually pulled off continuing the storyline very well. Which is rare. Usually a tv show and tv movies made from a studio film suck. These did not. Stargate: Now, you know, I really, really, really, really, really like this movie, right?! I mean this is a triple dip for me. I have NEVER triple dipped before. I rarely double dip. IF you check my dvd list out, you will see that I have this movie TWICE already. A very barebones edition and a really super duper Ultimate edition. Neither of which has an ENGLISH subtitle option. I know, I'm weird. I get it. I know you're saying, who gives a shit about subtitles?! Well, I do, thank you very much. I LIKE subtitles. They come in very handy sometimes. And I just like them. So I really like them for a movie I just LOVE. Stargate is one of those movies. Not a big fan of the show though. And I only got it 'cause it is BluRay. If it had been another regular dvd edition with english subtitles I would have just been pissed but I wouldn't have bought it. Anyways, moving along. Samurai 7 'cause I heard it was cool. It wasn't a definitive coolness so I didn't get the BluRay of this and also the BluRay edition was twice as much, so, no. I better like it ;-). And lastly, The Arrival. Now, I remember way back when when this movie came out. I heard so many bad things about it. So it took me a long time before I got around to seeing it. When I finally watched it I was PISSED! It was one of the BEST Sci-Fi films I had ever seen! I mean it was straight sci-fi all the way through. Most sci-fi films do well because they're about 20-15% sci-fi and 80-85% action. The Arrival was like 95-98% SCI-FI! That just doesn't happen very often. And when it does usually the movie suffers for it but in this case it didn't. At least to me. I was thoroughly impressed and entertained by this film. And THAT'S why I got the BluRay version, too. I just can't believe this film isn't more popular than it is. Oh well, I like it. And David likes it so whatever.

Anyways, just thought I'd share. LAter.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Conquer, conquer, conquer

This article explores the act of a multinational conglomerate of mostly european countries and companies using solar energy generated and stored in Africa and sending that energy to various plasces in europe. It was mentioned that the local African areas where the solar plants would be would be direct beneficiaries of the project. Riiiiight. Of course they would for a while at least, in the beginning. I'm all for believing that people, and by extension governments, can change for the better. However, a qoute from the article, by Agatha Koprowski, kind of sums up what I've come to believe based on what I've learned about our world's history:

“Europeans covet Africa’s wealth of natural resources,” she continued, “so they make economic investments for the benefit of Europeans and the detriment of Africans.”

Can anyone look at the history of europe and Africa and deny this is true? Honestly? I truly think not. Believe me, I'd LOVE to believe this project was truly what the people backing it say it is, but history, and not distant history either, doesn't support that belief. But one can hope. This next quote, by Gerhard Knies, does not fill me with a lot of hope though:

“I think they overlook the positive side of this interdependence, which creates win-win situations for the participating sides,” he said. “And that is how neighbors become friends.”

Europeans have been using that neighbors and friends bullshit for centuries and look how well it turned out for the natives of the america's, especially north america, and the many African countries all fucked up by colonialism. Oh, and don't forget almost every small island full of brown skinned people they ever landed on.

I don't mean to sound bitter or angry, but really, what do these people behind this Desertec project expect. Underhanded business has been the european stock in trade and modus operandi for it's entire existence.

And yet, I truly do hope they pull this off and it's beneficial to everyone involved and affected by the project. History is history and it's done but we learn it to be wary of what not to do or fall for. Hopefully the African countries entering in this know their history.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Graduations and other things

Well it's coming into the beginning of summer time. Kids are graduating school and school is out for everyone. I have been rather directly personally touched by the graduation season for I have a nephew and a niece that have graduated. My nephew, Christopher, who is a blood relative, my big brother's son, graduated Jr. High school and will be starting High School come the new school year. That is so cool to me because I so vividly remember when he was born. I was in basic training in the U.S. Air Force in Jan. of '95 and I received the most wonderful card in the mail and a picture from my brother. Christopher Childs, his son my nephew, was born! I was an UNCLE for the first time. That was so cool. Basic was already not too heavy a situation for me and that just made it that much easier. So, yeah, he's much bigger now (obviously:-)) and on his way. Can't wait for his H.S. graduation in four years. It may be sooner 'cause that kid is SMART! He's like me a bit, he reads A LOT! I think that's kind of cool ;-).

Then there's my niece Tyler. Tyler is not a blood relative, yet I refer to her as my niece because her aunt Veronica was the love of my life, and I've known Tyler since she was about seven. I've written about Veronica several times, here, here, and here. Well, while V was alive and we were together in Cali. I was warmly and openly accepted by her family as one of the family. Even after we split up they always held me close as one of them. When she died and I ran to Cali for her life celebration ceremony I was unsure of where to be: family was on one side of the room and everyone else on the other. One of her aunts, who I must of only met two or three times, remembered me, and grabbed me by my hand and told me, "You're with us. You're family." I cannot express here how good that made me feel (damn, I'm crying :-)) during a time when I was feeling like my world collapsed. Anyways, I've always remained close and in contact with the family so it's cool. Besides, Tyler's mom Jocelyn, was a friend first. She introduced me to her sister Veronica. Back to Tyler. Well, she graduated High School this past Thursday. (Yeah, her school was late with it.) She has grown into such a beautiful and wonderful young lady. It was so fascinating to see the child who used to frustrate my nerves sometimes, when V and I babysat, in the face of this intelligent and beautiful young woman. I am so proud of her. She is going to college. I'm not sure of her major because she's not sure but she is thinking about engineering, which I hope she does 'cause that would be great. So few females in that career field. And it's also a career field that has not been bleeding jobs like everything else. I'm so proud of her!

I had to travel down to northern VA, cause that's where J and Tyler live now. It was a cool trip. I like Amtrak better than Greyhound. No problems getting there. My train was almost two hours late on the way back to NY though. I'm so glad I went. I had know idea how much I missed my Holloway family. It was weird sitting in J's living room and everyone was just lounging on the couch. It's a huge couch. I had to take a video of it. I'll post those up later. But, man, did I miss Veronica while sitting there with so much of her family around me. I wonder if I remind them of her as much as they remind me of her. More than usual I mean. Anyway, I had a great weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a lucky individual! I try to remember that as much as possible. What's good in your life? Remember to hold it close and cherish it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who I is!

Interesting. I can live with being Mr. Benford. He is definitely a well respected author and and excellent writer/storyteller. Plus he's a real life, bonafide scientist! How cool is that! See which SF writer YOU are.


I am:
Gregory Benford
A master literary stylist who is also a working scientist.


Which science fiction writer are you?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More stupidness from people I work with.

Some people are just morons. One thing I failed to mention in my video was the fact that someone went into something that wasn't theirs in the first damn place! Why are you opening something that doesn't belong to you? It's not on your desk. You didn't buy it or bring it in. Why are you even touching it? Some people are so simple.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just 'cause

I just feel the need to write. I have a plethora of things I want to write about but really have not the desire nor drive or whatever to actually take the time to write them right now. But I need to write so I'm writing. As I previously blogged I had neglected posting here because school was just really commanding my energy. Now that school is over I'm just drained. I've been trying to recharge my batteries but it doesn't seem to be working too well. At least I know the reason why though. My home environment is just not conducive to my being a happy human being. I need to leave and I'm working on it, however, I don't have the means or capacity to just up and relocate. So, like most everything in this world, it's going to take some time. I hate waiting. And though I'm not really waiting, 'cause I am looking and preparing, I am not the most patient person in this world. At least not when it comes to anything except kids. I like kids. I have patience for them 'cause everything is new to them and so they have to learn. Everyone and everything else just gets on my damn nerves. Back to home life. I am surrounded by emotional chaos which is something the I just CANNOT STAND! Look, I have no problem with conflict but I like to deal with things in a positive light, in the most positive ways. The people around me deal in negative emotions and that's what life is to them. If things are flowing along nicely and going well then something is wrong in their world and they HAVE to inject a bit of negativity and chaos energy to feel normal. That is SO not me. When I entered this environment I knew of a part of this but truly had know idea how deep this sickness in these people was. Well now I know and I'm getting the fuck out of dodge before I need a lawyer. It's that serious.

In conjunction with this external shit I'm also going through quite a bit of internal drama. I've been going through self exploration for the last year or so. I finally realized I need to deal with a lot of the crap I have floating around my psyche. I've always been pretty level headed and like to think I deal with my emotions relatively well. I've always been pretty honest with myself as far as my emotions and motivations are concerned but when Veronica died something changed. Not a lot just a bit. Enough to notice. Wow. Self evaluation and breaking down one's ego shell is some scary shit and not for the timid. And not to be attempted without some help. Trudging through adult emotional trauma is nothing compared to dealing with childhood emotional trauma as an adult. You might be surprised of the things that really had a lasting effect. Most things looking back are obvious but quite a bit is not, which is why it's good to take a careful and thoughtful look into such things. Then evaluate. Always with someone who is qualified to do such things though, as your own viewpoint can be obviously biased or skewed. Most people ignore pain for various reasons, usually fear, and that's understandable. But you cannot be a fully functioning and healthy human being if you don't understand yourself and facing and dealing with pain is a big part of that. That's one of the reasons why I follow Steven Barnes' blog so closely: He is a person who is publicly honest about his internal and external dealings with striving to be a complete and balanced human being. I have such admiration for that man. Anyways, it's an ongoing process, this self-evaluation stuff and I'm workin' on it. Have been for a while, actually, just read my book ;-). It's just now, I'm really focusing on it, because I really need my life to move forward and I can't do that until I get a lot of the shit from all these past years a bit cleared up. Or just a bit clearer. Thirty-something years is a lot of shit to slog through.


That all for now. LAter.


My Book. Yes, I'm proud and not above a bit of self-promotion.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Dragun iz back. A bit Drained

It's been over a month since I posted anything. My posting has been rather spotty for the whole year so far actually. Didn't even have a single post in my Bornday month, April. Weeeeeell, school has been kickin' my ass. I was actually trying to take it serious for once. Especially one class which I'm not sure if I'm going to pass. This is rather disheartening but quite possibly a necessary wake-up call for me. I'm fairly certain I will pass all my other classes. Though I am not anal and obsessed with making the best grades, as far as classes(or anything else for that matter) are concerned, I am NOT used to failing in any way. I'm smarter than I used to be but not quite as intelligent, I think. I think my higher power may have my back though, but I think that's only for this semester. Next school jam I get in I am sure I'll be on my own. We'll see. I won't let myself get in a academic jam like I did this semester ever again,though, no matter what happens.

Anyways, I did post about all my excitement in March, so no need to rehash that stuff. Except, I FINALLY MET STEVEN BARNES!!!!!! Just had to get that out. If you can't tell I'm still kind of STOKED about that. But for my Bornday, which is April 1, I went to the Museum of Natural History here in NY. Yes, I am an April Fool. I am THE April Fool and as such the whole month belongs to ME!!! My bad, slight megalomania moment there. My dominant personae likes to show himself now and then. Like I was saying, went to the museum which used to be my FAVORITE place to go when I was a child. Here is why: I loved wearing my white suit there. The old human history display was in a long dark hallway that had blacklights running along the floors. The light would turn my white suit purple. This delighted me immensely, I thought that was so cool. Still do:-). I have not been to that museum in YEARS!! and figured I might as well go to my old favorite born day place. And I wore my current white suit, too, you know, as an homage to the child inside (pics at the end). Wow has it changed!! That display has changed quite a bit as has the whole museum. I like it. I need to go back on a regular basis just to check everything out. Maybe I will do that over the summer. Anyways, I bought myself a book and a Playstation 3 for my Bornday gifts. I mostly wanted the Playstation for the blu-ray player. I am more a movie/film fanatic than I am a gamer though I do enjoy playing games every once in a while. They have to be very interesting to me though. I much prefer to watch someone else play a game as long as they play it well, as my best friend David does. For me, watching David play is like watching a movie, he's that good at these things. Cool for me he's my best friend then, huh? So, I have a bunch of blu-ray discs already but only one game. I haven't actually had the opportunity to play it because, like I began above, school was kickin' my ass. I need to work on my time management skills big time! Blu-ray movies look freakin' AWESOME!!! by the way. If you haven't acquired a blu-ray player, along with an HDTV, I highly suggest you save your pennies and go get them. Together they are so choice.

Nothing else really happened in April. Oh wait, I went to Connecticut. Went for a friend. I won't put her business on the net but I went for support. Actually stayed at this minor resort hotel at Foxwoods casino. It's nice up there. Visited a friend of my friend who has a house and some land on the Mohegan reservation land. It was really nice out there. Though it was my first time there and meeting these people I felt at home immediately, which is super rare for me. I look forward to going back.

Went to the world famous Apollo theater for the first time this past Wednesday. My friend, Wisdom Supreme, was performing at amatuer night. It was an interesting and very cool experience. I lost my voice cheering. Interesting observation from this experience: girls really do mature faster than boys in certain ways. There was a large group of kids from a school in Philly in attendance. The boys were rather a bit unruly and the girls seemed to have a better sense of decorum for the venue in which they were in. They were still kids though just a bit better behaved. Interesting to witness that as an adult. I ain't old, forget ya'll!! Wisdom did a great job by the way. He didn't get booed at all, which I was kind of worried about, being he was doing a spoken word piece which was rather deep, and you had all these pre high school kids there looking for fun performances. I was thoroughly impressed: with Wisdom as well as those school kids. They listened. Great night.

My Big Bro came up to NY on Friday. Hung out with him and my nephew Mikey. We went to see Wolverine. I am so not impressed. I know they had to take liberties to make it work, like they did with the three X-Men movies, but they went a bit overboard in my opinion. I think making Logan and Victor brothers was great though. Their relationship has, to my knowledge, never been explicitly explained in the comics. You know, it wasn't that bad but it really should have been better. Post Dark Knight and Iron Man this should have never seen the screen in the form they had it. I know it takes a LONG time to make films, so I can only assume that the script had been approved and principle photography had already begun WAY before the Dark Knight and Iron Man films saw the light of day. Completely fucked up the character of Deadpool, too. He's rather cool for a slightly insane assassin in the comics and they just messed him up in the film. They kind of covered that after the credits, though, but it's still kind of retarded what they did with him. Actually liked the live realization of Remy LeBeau, Gambit, though. Look forward to seeing that character in future X-films. Loved the way they SFXed his powers, too. That was way cool. Yeah, I'ma get it on blu-ray when it comes out, but mostly because I'm an X-men fan.

And yesterday, I helped my brother help my nephew's mom move out of her apartment. Got to spend some time with Mikey, too, which is always cool. I like my Nephew. Reminds me of, well, me ;-). Just a bit. Played catch with his football. He's got a pretty good throw for a kid.
That all for now. I won't be stranger. Especially since, Schooooooool's Out For Summer!!!!!!


Bornday pics
First pic on my Bornday!

Happy to be going to the museum.


Gotta do the hard rock pose.


Greater Koodoo. That's the name of these creatures. Thought that was cool. And they look pretty cool, too.

Petrified wood. When I was little they had a single slice that was longer than I was tall. I always thought that was so cool.

Had a happy day! (Yeah, my room is a bit messy. So?)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Having a good week

Well, within one week I've met a few people I admire greatly. One I might even go so far to say I'm a huge fan of one of them. That one would be Steven Barnes, my favorite SF writer, period. That was yesterday. I also met two other excellent writer's, Tananarive Due, who happens to be married to Steven, and Nnedi Okorafor. We were all attending a symposium celebrating the life and works of the brilliant Octavia E. Butler. It was nice to receive a little more insight into the person that Octavia was from those she knew and considered friends. It's really eye-opening to hear that Octavia is considered a master storyteller above master storytellers. She didn't just tell stories she WAS the stories. I love her work and am sad that I never had the opportunity to meet her. However, this is a happy moment for me. It was so cool to hear Steven speak and realize that what I read on his blog, which I read ALL the time, is exactly how he is in real life. Not that I ever doubted that fact but to know in person is always a good thing. He was gracious enough to allow me to meet his son, Jason. I can't express in words how much of an honor that was! Anyways, I actually had the opportunity to converse with Steven and Tananarive and they are two of the most beautiful people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I look forward to the next time I can meet them. I brought my copy of Street Lethal, still one of my favorite books of all time, and Great Sky Woman, a brilliant tale, for Steven to sign. I would have brought more but I figured I wouldn't be the only one there so decided to keep it short. Those are my two favorites. Oh, and Tananarive is sharp! We just recently added each other as friends on facebook and when she asked my name, for her to sign my copy of My Soul To Keep, she said, "Why is that name so familiar?" To which I responded, "Probably from facebook," and she was pretty much like, "Oh yeah! I love facebook. Isn't it great?" That was so cool. (Yeah, I'm still geeking out over all of this!) I did not get a chance to converse with Nnedi but she did sign my copy of The Shadow Speaker. She's absolutely gorgeous!! WOW! I can't wait to cross paths with her again one day. So,yeah, yesterday was an absolutely wonderful day for me.

Yes, I know I mentioned I met four people and only spoke of three. The fourth is Savion Glover. I actually went to a performance of his a week ago. I briefly blogged about it. Well, he's just a brilliant dancer. You can tell when he's dancing that's all that exists for him. I guess, maybe, not unlike Octavia in her writings. They simply embody what they do. Once engaged there is no separation between the executor and the executed art. Amazing to witness live. I got to meet him after the performance. Actually took a photo with him. Another genuinely beautiful person.

My Bornday is coming up this Wednesday, April 1, so I'm rather happy right now!

Oh yeah, and my best friend, David, and his wife, have returned from a wonderful trip to Paris! They had a grand time and David tells me it's a wonderful city. Seems I'm going to have to save up and make the trip myself soon! You can check out how his trip was here.


Tananarive, Me, and Steven. (If you can't tell I was STOKED!!!!)


Me and Savion (I'm kind of upset that the pic is a bit blurry. Some people just can't take pictures. Glad I have it though!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DON'T MESS WITH MY FOOD!!!!!


video


Yo, I HATE when something is wrong with my food!! I mean restaurant food whether it's fast food or sit down. And by something wrong I mean something being in it that ISN'T SUPPOSED to be!!!! That shit is ass-kick worthy right there. Like someone DESERVES to get STOMPED for shit like that. Ain't no damn accidents with someone's food, man! That all.