Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big damn heroes

I did not start out liking Naruto. The anime focused on the young ninja who was whiny and annoying. Plus, his main strength is his determination and not his ninja ability and to me, this is boring. I like my heroes special, strong, moody. Which brings me to Sasuke who was just that. Meanwhile, Naruto grew stronger and Sasuke grew jealous. So Sasuke goes off to seek power and revenge. Naruto goes after Sasuke to bring him home. The bitterness between them, despite their previous camaraderie, was felt in their last meeting when they both fought to kill. Now, it seems, Naruto, is a top notch anime which has improved both in character and animation. I can not wait to see how things work out.

Which brings me to the end of the Bleach run on adultswim for a while. They have switch to Death Note, another interesting anime. But the thing that bothers me is that they stopped right as the Soul Society arc gets really good. The big hero scene (I do love my heroes) when Ichigo shows up and brings his bankai. The big scene is that much more enjoyable because he shows up dressed to kill with his big ass Zanpakuto and stops Rukia's death with the best line, "Yo!" God, how I love Bleach. I hope it comes back soon. Meanwhile, I will open my mind to other anime and try Death Note.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Let's talk 2007 Fall TV

It is not the most stellar season. Frankly, I feel there is something missing. After thinking about it, I found it was the lack of a fast talking, witty, pop culture reference show à la "Buffy", "Gilmore Girls" or "Veronica Mars". Without this kind of writing, TV feels empty. Sure a show like that never reflects real life or true situations but hey, what television show does? Still, in a dimly lit room somewhere, Joss is writing the 'next' show that makes me all giddy and fanatical. Anyway, a girl can dream. But even with the dismal season, there are a few good eggs in the basket. Let's take a look

"Chuck" - A less charming rip off of "Jake 2.0" with Betty's beau Christopher Gorham, "Chuck" plays the shy geek card against an energetic Alec Baldwin and typical blond spy, Yvonne Strzechowski. Even the geekiness is less than par with encoded images having been downloaded into Chuck's brain. At least Jake had some powers, this guy just decrypts images leaving the audience to witness flashes on the screen and a 'doh' moment when Chuck tells pretty blond what it means. So far the plots are weak and the chemistry superficial. There is potential. I like the brother and sister relationship and the fact that Chuck and his friends are part of the 'Nerd Herd' computer fixit guys who work at a place called 'Buy More' which is next to a 'Weinerlicious'. That's two shows that have made generic names for typical American commercialism and have to say, fun stuff. But the action should pick up or the writing should improve quicke because both are just average and can not sustain this show as quality television. Next to Adam (please oh please throw a toaster at someone every episode!), Zachary Levi has got it down as Chuck. He is such a lovable geek.

"Reaper"- Which leads us to the other geek show. Even though it is on The CW, "Reaper" provides more entertainment and plot than "Chuck" has so far. The premise is this: When Sam was born his parents sold his soul to the devil and now he must work as a bounty hunter and send escaped souls from hell back where they belong. It seemed doomed from my point of view but both the devil and Sam have proved me wrong. The devil is played by Ray Wise and does he ever fit the part. His every scene is fantastic and his motives are still very unclear and the mystery adds points in my book. Sam works for 'The Work Bench', TV's version of Home Depot or Lowe's and though he has no focus, plays the ever wavering bachelor very well. There are a few problems, specifically an average boy - girl scenario. 'He likes her but will not tell her his secret' just drives me crazy. It was a nice twist that she did not go back to school and an unexpected move is always a plus. I like his friends too, though I wish we had more of Ben and less of "Sock".

"Pushing Daisies" - If one show was to scream novel, this is it and is my pick of the season. A fanastical and visual journey into the world of reanimation which has the look and feel of a Burton film. And please, the chemistry between our 'touched' hero, Ned and undead Chuck (who names their kid Charlotte Charles?) is boiling over. I can imagine that the ever changing ways of them touching without actually touching is going to be the thing with this show. The audience is swept into the lives of its characters intertwined by little details given in the form of a narrator, the ever fantastic voice of the Harry Potter audio novels, Jim Dale. In fact, the narration and the scene formation culminating in the character looking directly at the camera reminds me a lot of Amélie. With a fantastic cast (again I beg for Kristin Chenoweth to sing in every episode) and an even more enchanting plot, "Pushing Daisies" is here to stay.

"Life" - That being said, my next favorite new show is "Life" and it all has to do with Damian Lewis. Lewis plays Crews, an LAPD policeman who was accused of murdering his business partner, wife, and son when DNA evidence, 12 years later, acquitted him. He was released, promoted to detective, and awarded some billions of dollars for compensation. So the plot, while fairly droll, has some potential in that the crime is still unsolved and the audience gets pieces every episode. His partner also catches my interest and she has done well trying to understand and deal with this confounding man who has a house but no furniture (I love the zen) and keeps company with a known embezzler (a brilliant Adam Arkin). Lewis, my newfound love, steals the show. With a piercing stare and a love for life, the character Crews and the actor Lewis go hand in hand. It must be the mystery or the scars beneath the surface. Whatever it is, it draws me. If you have not seen "Band of Brothers", netflix the sucker and enjoy the ride. He has only improved with age and "Life" is the little known secret of this year's premieres.

Look Ma, no hands!

I detest needles and anything having to do with doctors or blood. I can count the number of times that I have been stuck with a needle and NOT fainted without any hands (zero!). So imagine my apprehension when some insurance that I am buying said they needed to draw blood. I basically spent three weeks worrying about it. But things worked out fine. It turned out to be a great day with temperatures just hovering under 60 degrees. This alone made my day. The nurse came to my house which also put me at ease. She hummed and only had to prick me twice. I lay there with my arm over my eyes and felt only little nausea. But the best part, no fainting. Banner day for me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kettle Corn

I do not know who created this tasty treat but it happens to be the best stuff on earth. Kettle Corn is a perfect blend of salt and sweet and just happens to be the basis for the title of my blog. Usually I have to wait for some festival that has a stand and buy the largest bag they have but I found a fantastic recipe which is easy and tastes just like you buy at a fair. For my pot, you need just a little more oil or you burn the corn. Try some, I guarantee you will love it.

Kettle Corn Recipe

Oh, and here is a little history

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hello Halo

So I have played the first and second on two different consoles. I have yet to tackle the third, deterred by the price. But I love the Master Chief and the entire story. This advertisement is awesome, simple yet effective in its emotion, and utterly enjoyable. I can not wait to finish the story.

Victor victorious

I had not watched a netflix movie in weeks due to my trip to Italy and my mail being stopped. Finally receiving them this week, I was able to enjoy, again, what I love so much. Watching the kind of movies I like in the comfort of my home. This weekend, one disc in particular gave me perfect enjoyment and that was The Best of Victor Borge. Victor Borge (1909-2000) was a talented pianist and comedian. He combined his love of music with the most fantastic gags. But after all the hilarious stunts, the sheet music gag, the opera singer, the duet, and the inflationary language, the man sat down and did what he is best at: playing the piano. The man was pure genius on the keyboard. If you have never watched him, put it on your netflix list now. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Life goes on

I have not blogged in a while. However, when I tried to pick something to blog about, I found there was a lot going on in my life. There was the whole trip to Italy where I spent a day in Venice and a day in Milan. Oh, and there was the work part of the trip too. Perfect weather and perfect food culminated for a rather perfect trip. Then there is the matter of playing Doom 3 on my Xbox 360. Oh how it reminds me of the good days when my brother and I would play for hours in front of the computer. I have to admit that I had low expectations of the game but am enjoying it immensely. ID has done a wonderful job of updating the demons and story for a scarier, most excellent first person shooter but never sacrificing what made it a great game in the first place. I wish my brother was around to experience the multiplayer. Then there was the series premiere of Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 3. The first episode of the most anticipated season of fire bending was a little less than fantastic but the second was back to its old form, hilarity with magnificent heart. Was there ever a funnier brother than Sokka or a more tortured character than Zuko? Please someone start watching this show so I can share the love. Nevermind that the Buckeyes are kicking butt, that Beckham will continue to be on the disabled list until the end of the season, or that hockey starts today. I will not blog about the premiere of the 2007 Fall TV season of which nothing has sparked intense feelings as yet. I will not speak about my excitement at seeing the Macy's Day Parade in New York City this year. No the one thing in my life which seems to have made the most impact is that two of the only people I knew when I moved to Austin are now moving away. In this time of an unsteady job and a more unsteady life, it saddens me to lose two good friends. Something like that makes you realize that life is short and friends are scarce. Make sure you appreciate the ones you have.