Thursday, May 27, 2004

RoliRoti - best chicken ever

If you are in the Bay Area check this out: RoliRoti. Its the best damn chicken I have ever had. Every Thursday when the Farmer's Market comes this is where you can find me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Sick at home

Well I had a strange weekend in Chico that left me sick and tired. I will spare you all the details of the sickness, but it did involve many trips to the porcelain god of love.

Anyhow we went there for Laura's sister's graduation. It was a nice ceremony despite the main speaker was atrocious. You could tell the guy had a thesaurus on him while writing the speech. The BBQ afterwards would have been great if I had been able to imbibe anything. Laura's dad bought a Sierra Nevada Wheat (which up there costs only 70$ ... Down here I think that is like 110$.

But no Matt could not drink any because he had the sh*...- okay I will stop.

So now it is Tuesday and I find myself dialed into work from home taking it easy. Tomorrow I am hoping that I am all better.

Let me talk about Troy briefly. The movie was underwhelming. It was a good movie and entertaining, but did not live up the spectacle that someone could imagine on their own. Few movies do, but I think this one could have if handled differently. You see there are no Gods or Goddesses in the movie. It is just humans; which is fine, but the great thing about Greek Mythology is the relationships between the Gods and the Mortals and everything in between that is a demi-god and what not. It is the Gods meddling that usually holds sway over what happens in the Mortal world.

In Troy we are left with a bitter Achilles' (Brad Pitt) who is so full of pride that he refuses to accept the leadership of King Agamemnon (played by Brian Cox). Throughout the movie they go back and forth. "He won't fight for me" ... "I won't fight for him" .. blah blah blah.

That is the main dissension in the movie until (SPOILER) Hector, who was my favorite character in the movie and strangely as I remember was my favorite character in the Iliad slays Patroculus in battle thinking that it was Achilles.

Well this infuriates Achilles and if you have read the Iliad you more or less know how he reacts. I always thought this part of the Iliad was crap. If Achilles was not such a prideful man his cousin would never had died (at the time he did at least) ... Its achilles own fault that patroculus dies... Anyhow, the poem has been written and I am writing a movie review about the adaption not a book review.

So what was good: The battles are good. The Hector - Achilles duel is very good. Whenever Achilles battle prowess is exemplified the audience is probably thinking, oh that was cool, but these moments are few and far between and last roughly a few seconds each. The first battle and when he throws the spear are examples of this.

As I alluded to above what I wanted to see was the God's influence. For instance there are parts of the Iliad where the God's directly impact the course of the battles. I have a copy of the Iliad right next to me but am too lazy to open it up.

This movie should have been about grandeur and spectacle ... Instead we got a little bit of spectacle and too much humane adaptation of the story with the Gods taken out... The Gods' messages are conveyed through the mortals and for me this just didn't work. I wanted to see strings being pulled. The impact and emotions of each character could have been amplified if there was a supernatural aura about the battles, dialogues, and events.

Should you see it: Yes, but don't go in thinking it will be the greatest thing ever.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Sometimes we all feel a little perplexed about life ...  Posted by Hello

To be fair to my friend ... I have added a picture of myself in a drunken state. Posted by Hello

Here is my drunk friend Johnny playing golf late night at our recent palm desert debaucher-fest. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 20, 2004


So last night my girlfriend and a friend from college went out to get a drink after watching the Kings lose in yet another game 7. I ordered up a Grey Goose on the rocks and my girlfriend and friend each had Spicy Bloody Mary's ... I tend to be a quick drinker and was done as they were midway through theirs.

Without notice, the bartender had another Grey Goose for me. Now Grey Goose is not exactly cheap so Matt and I are looking at each other thinking the bartender is trying to make some more money off of us then he already would. Whatever though, I would have probably ordered another one anyway.

The bill comes and he only charged us for three drinks -- my second Grey Goose was free. Thinking oh this bartender is cool, I gave him a big tip -- double I guess from what he would have gotten.

I guess I would feel like an asshole if I did not tip him properly since he "hooked" us up, but in the end its just like me paying for my second Gray Goose and giving him a normal tip. Just some thoughts for you to chew on -- nothing is really free, unless of course you are the "asshole".

Friday, May 14, 2004

Van Helsing

So last night my girlfriend and I went and saw Van Helsing.

I had been looking forward to this for sometime, but as the release of the movie neared I noticed the big blitz marketing campaign and the increasingly cheesy, over-the-top trailers. I think I knew before I even sat down in the theater that this was not a movie I was going to like very much. At one point in my life, I think these are the movies that I loved to see -- yearned to see -- big budget, no plot, tons of action and sfx. I remember the summer when Independence Day came out. I worked (still do) at Autodesk Inc. and another intern, Armen Askijian, and I were creating a demo CD to showcase some of the really cool stuff that 3d Studio MAX could do. We would talk about the trailer and the movie nearly everyday leading up to the release and even animated our own little movie where this castle blows up the same way the building it ID4 just gets pummeled. Anyhow, that opening day we were both in line first thing and loved every second of flick.

Was Van Helsing entertaining? Yes. Was it a good movie? No. Did I like it as much as I would have if I were 11? No. Perhaps I was not in the mood to watch 2 hours straight of Hugh Jackman battling nearly every monster of our time (no Mummy, but we already saw how that goes). And it sucks too, because I am a big Jackman fan and especially like his role as Wolverine in the X-Men films (and hope he signs on for the third). The SFX were pretty good ... I liked the werewolf transformations. I thought the Brides of Dracula were not done well, as well as their babies. Dracula himself was horribly acted ... his transformation into his more demonic form was cool. If this was the first film someone saw Hugh Jackman in they would consider him attrocious. His ferocity and believability as Wolverine stands out on its own, but now stands out so much more when comparing that performance to Van Helsing. There is no emotion, he pretty much sleepwalks through the role. I thought that the best part of the movie (acting wise) was perhaps seen as the most cheesiest by others (SPOILER) but when he is the werewolf at the end and has killed Kate Beckinsale's character he begins transforming back into a human and crying out in pain because of her loss. He pulled it off pretty well considering it was hard to take anything in the movie serious at that point.

To sum this up, I would say that I am dissappointed that I can no longer fully appreciate the fun, popcorn action flicks. Or perhaps I still can and Van Helsing really does just bite the big one.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Troy (2004): Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Wolfgang Petersen

Troy (2004): Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Wolfgang Petersen

The last sentence here: "As Troy grows in stature and intrigue, Achilles gradually withdraws. The warrior couldn’t look more disinterested, and as a result, the audience eventually begins to feel the same way."

seems to me like that is what happens in the Iliad ... Achilles withdraws from the fighting until his honor can be restored ... Hopefully Wolfgang dishes Achilles return in the movie the same way it is served in the epic.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The beginning

Well, I just came back from a vacation with one of my buddies in Palm Desert and he mentioned he had a blog. I have been meaning to check out these hybrid sort of diary/get-to-know-other-people/post random thoughts things, so here I am. Although there is not much to say right now; work and sleep need catching up :), I'm sure I will want to shout out some things later.

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