Thursday, February 26, 2009

seal of approval

One of the best parts of getting postcards through postcrossing is the stamps. I love seeing the different designs, landscapes, languages, colors, everything. Below is a scan of my lastest from Finland. Is not the shape awesome? What about those cartoon peoples in purple and turquoise? Adorable, I wish I knew what it meant.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wait for it

So worth the 27 seconds.  Du beau foot!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

cute as a button

Just returned from Coraline and the second movie in a week for which I have ventured to the theatre. This one was definitely worth the price of admission. There is, of course, the mention of the beautiful imagery and the creative vision of Gaimen's book. The wonderful plot, the amazing characters and their charming characteristics, even the minor ones combine for an entertaining ride. Coraline is so well established with her stubborn smirk and childish determination. The house is perfect and the other mother brilliantly creepy. I only know Bruno Coulais from his music for Les Choristes but his score for Corlaine is definitely on my list of things to buy. But beyond all that, beyond the fact that outright it is a very good film and a high quality piece of art, above all is the phenomenal 3D depiction. Nothing compares to the visuals that this technology can output. It blew me away and just made everything so vivid. With eye popping color and detail it is no wonder there were three trailers in 3D even before the movie started. This is definitely one you should see in the theatre. I am glad I went and paid what I think is an outrageous amount for a 2 hour span of time. Rooting for Coraline with 3D goodness was worth every penny. Go see this movie!

Serei no Moribito (Guardian of the Spirit)

There have been so few anime that have come along in the past year which have been anything special.  Serei no Moribito is one of them.  I talked a small bit about it in an earlier post but that was just the beginning.  Cartoon Network's adultswim only ran the first 10 episodes before they had to take it off the air because the rest had not yet been released.  So I went ahead and downloaded the rest because I was eager to see how the story ended.  The best thing about this anime is the fight scenes.  The spear wielding protagonists are amazing fighters, it is fast and the acrobatics are exquisite. I have not seen anything this beautifully drawn or directed before.  But even beyond that, the story is tight, the characters extremely developed, and the evolution well paced.  I have to admit that I thought there would more traitorous activity but the ending was still very satisfying.  I await its complete release on DVD because this one is definitely going to be part of my collection.

Speaking of collections, I added Noein and Origin: Spirits of the Past to mine. They were both on sale at

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the last airbender has a release

Now that Avatar has been dropped from the title, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender release date has been set for July 2, 2010.  Most of the main cast has been also signed, Aang, Zuko, Katara, and Sokka., with a noticeable non Asian cast. No Appa yet.  The biggest and greatest news is the fact that James Newton Howard, a longtime collaborator with Shyamalan, is signed on for the score.  Yippee!

Monday, February 09, 2009

the key to success

I use the keyboard for most of my daily computer needs.  I hate the mouse, I hate having to move my hand away from the keyboard to use the mouse.  Most of all, I hate programs that do not support keyboard shortcuts.  So today I found a keyboard shortcut that I did not know existed and it totally made my morning.  When you press control-o to open a file in any windows based program, it never opens to the location you want.  You can easily start typing in the default box position your location starting with c:\.  However, today the dialog opened to a location and I wanted to just go up one folder.  So I typed ".." in the box and pressed enter.  'Lo and behold the dialog went up to the parent directory, just as expected in unix.  I love finding new keyboard shortcuts.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sword of the Stranger

This past Thursday, there was a one night showing of Sword of the Stranger in Austin.  The film, created and produced by BONES of "Full Metal Alchemist" fame, is about a ronin who meets a boy and his dog on the run.  The bloody battles between China and Japan are ever present as the Chinese main character can fight like the devil.  He meets his match while pursuing the boy but the stranger does not draw his sword, plagued by his past.  It is very appropriate that I just rewatched "Rurouni Kenshin" because this movie plays very similarly.  The art was good, if not great at times with amazing cinematic shots of thrown knives and sword play.  The music was also good, if not great at times with distinct Chinese themes.  I would say the plot and characters were average but the end had great satisfaction.  I was glad that I went to see it.

Ugly Betty

So I watch a lot of TV. Way too much TV. I could go on for hours about the many layers of "Battlestar Galactica", the humor of "The Big Bang Theory", and the adorable, sturdy Jack Bauer. But today I want to catch up on "Ugly Betty" because the show has definitely grown into something special. This year Betty tried living in the city and along with that effort came the shallow Amanda. I absolutely love the relationship that developed between the two of them. They come to a mutual understanding and a sweet friendship. The other relationship that develops is that between Betty and Marc, this one more professional. Both competing and making into some special editor program creates something akin to mutual respect. Marc and Amanda, the fantastic duo that make this program worth watching, are still the sneaky, snarky beautiful people who make Betty, the not so ugly, appreciate what she has and make the watcher appreciate the contrast. Above all of that, though, this show is about family. Betty manages to balance her life and her family and when they cross, pulls the show down to earth.  You can not fault its formula or the fun result. Every time Betty shows up with a crocheted set of bright blue earmuffs, I smile and laugh.  There can be no better way to brighten and already gleaming show.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wolverine and the X-Men

My little brother (hi Erich) and I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Instead of the "Smurfs" though we watched such personal classics as "Batman: The Animated Series", "Spider-Man", and "X-Men". He was the comic buff and I was the tv buff. Since then, our love of animation and anime has only grown to which this blog attests. He is still more of a lover of animation and I am still more of the lover of television but it works, even across our long distance.

Wow, sentimental gobblety gook aside, a new X-Men show has come to the playing field. "Wolverine and the X-Men" takes a slightly different twist; Professor X is not present. Something or someone attacked telepaths. It is not clear what happened directly after but both Prof. X and Jean Grey are lost. Rogue has defected to the Brotherhood and Emma Frost is working with Wolverine and the X-Men to defend mutants against the mutant registration act. Prof. X does show up in the doomed future doing his best to give the X-Men in the present guidance to prevent that doom.

The show does a good job of mixing main characters and side characters. My love, Gambit, shows up in the fifth episode all cajun and badass. Emma is a nice change and Scott is less whiny than usual, though not much. The art is good, the music not as good. I have never heard of the composer, Dean Grinsfelder but it has some potential, it is very orchestral. I have seen the first twelve episodes, only three have aired in the states. I await the return of the Phoenix but while I do so, it is fun to watch loads of infamous Marvel characters make their appearance.

meant to be

On repeat is Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Meant to Be" from their album, Hot. I love her voice with its twenties flare.

300 posts

I just noticed I have 300 posts on this blog.  I do not have kids, nor anything serious to write about so it is mostly silly nonsense. Still there is something to be said about getting thoughts down. So thanks for reading if you do and thanks for not leaving after you read this.