Monday, June 30, 2008

Is that Jet Li?

I would not have thought that Jet would make an appearance in this film but there he is. I am a big fan of this series but am apprehensive at the missing Weiss and lack of Jonathan. They made the movies actually funny. Still, it is pretty nice looking.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clermont-Ferrand, France

How appropos that my first post card was from France. Caroline writes in French and describes the beautiful view of the volcanoes. I am so loving this postcrossing thing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love postcards

I love postcards and the stamps that come on them. My collection spans two photo albums. I mentioned this in my French class a few weeks ago and one of my classmates told me to sign up at postcrossing.com. This is a place where you send and receive postcards from all over the world. It maps them, tells you how long it takes to get to its destination, and even has some pictures of cards that are sent. Boy was this ever the best thing. The first thing I did was head to our local tourist shop and buy $10 worth of post cards and then to the post office to buy $0.94 stamps for international postage. Then I sent out five cards which is the limit. I just received notice that my first card was registered in Finland. I can not believe how happy it made me feel. Imagine my delight when I will receive my first card. You have to try this.

http://www.postcrossing.com/

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bleach: Memories of Nobody and other anime movies

Viz Media decided to release Bleach: Memories of Nobody, a movie based on the famous anime, for two days in the United States. I was lucky enough to live in a city where it was being shown. As part of the promotion, there was a neat little introduction with interviews of the Japanese and American staff and actors about the anime and the movie. It started with one of the animators just sitting down and drawing Ichigo... fantastic. The movie itself was funny and fun. Best of all it was on the big screen where Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya come to life.

I have also watched a few other movies of late. Origin: Spirits of the Past was great, almost Miyazki-like only with a weaker story. The characters were great, the animation beautiful, and the music stupendous. Unfortunately, you can not find the soundtrack in the US but I have been listening to the opening and ending songs on repeat for a few days now :) 5 Centimeters Per Second was also another beautiful movie. Filmed in three parts, the inner thoughts of two friends is voiced over some of the most graceful images I have ever seen. Definitely a must see.

huzah, only 97 on Thursday

It happens every year. I know the entire country, with the exception of the Northwest, is under a heat wave and it is only June. But down here we have been dealing with it since the beginning of May and when the 10 day forecast is 97°F or higher and three sequential days hitting 102°F, my head explodes. We will not get any release probably until October.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

what to read

While my Harry Potter in French continues, sometimes I need a break. But it is always a question of what to read. I enjoy children's literature, Harry Potter being a prime example but I also adored Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I've read His Dark Materials and was thinking of rereading Anne of Green Gables since it is the 100th anniversary. But I did some research to find out what experts, or so called experts, think is the next Harry Potter. Two series popped up. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

First, Twilight. A teen vampire love story. That about sums up the extent of it all. Now, it takes quite a bit for me to start something, a book, a movie, whatever and then stop. I have to know the end whether cheating and and reading the end or finishing the book in its entirety. But this, I just could not continue. It is really quite boring and not as intriguing as it sounds. A teenage girl, love at first sight, and the drone of her lovelorn desire to give up everything for the vampire that she loves. This is not the kind of story that I wanted. I wanted plot, details, and characters that draw me not push me away. It is too bad, I could use a good love story.

On the other hand, The Olympians series is intriguing. With other worldly qualities, Percy enters his adulthood as the son of a Greek God. Action and character growth, finally some fun with a sense of humor. It is still not Harry Potter but it engaged me enough for me to finish the first book and want to get the next. The series was actually referred to me by a friend at work as his son loves it enough to get the author's autograph (Rick Riordan is from nearby San Antonio, TX). I could not pass up a referral from a nine year old.

Both of these will hold me for a while but next up is the New Jedi Order series which proves to be a chore to read knowing what happens to some pretty important characters. Still, its Star Wars and hard for me to resist.

friendly games

How fun is the summer of even years? While the USA is befuddled with basketball rehashes and political questions, Europe goes to bat. There is nothing like a cup to bring football lovers to their feet. For twenty days, Europe and the world watches and waits to see who makes it to the end. The official site is quite good with widgets to add to iGoogle and a custom page for anyone who signs up for a free account. Well done, UEFA.

The US Men's team also gets some good practice against number one Argentina in an interntaional friendly. Good clean fun, all of it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

the title cards

As I was catching up on anime, Bleach and Naruto: Shipp┼źden, I was again floored by how much I love the title cards to Bleach. These are the flashed images which tell you which episode it is. They can come at the beginning, middle, or sometimes even the end. They are all different and may or may not relate to the episode itself. The better part of the episodes have a card but some two part episodes do not. It is just a little touch of unexpected pleasure when they appear. Of course, being the obsessive that I am, I decided to find them all. Below is my tribute. I realized when collecting them all that beginning with episode 168, the show is now wide screen. My favorties are 39, 89, and 159.