OYL

















Eventually, there will be a house there.

July 28, 2006

ONE YEAR LATER.

And I am still here. I am remembering leaving Northridge at 8pm and driving through the night, stopping for half hour naps, amazed at how hot Phoenix was at 4am (wow, a heat wave a year ago and another one this year), debating a detour in New Mexico to visit the VL Array, Roswell or White Sands, wanting to get through El Paso as quick as possible, the Sisyphean task of crossing Texas, the rains, lightning and traffic that welcomed me into Austin and being completely covered in cat fur.

Then it was a month’s worth of job hunting, dealing with an outsourced human resources department (how an agency could outsource their HR department is beyond me), helping out hurricane survivors and landing the job I am currently at.

So what has one year wrought?

The Interesting:

The horror at how huge Harry Knowles is. The coolness of the screenings that Aint-it-Cool News have every now and then (the Corpse Bride and Veronica Mars things were so damn cool, why are there not more?). Spending way too much money at the Record Convention. Hanging out with old friends Big Louie and Neil Gaiman. SXSW (Viva la Rock & Roll Lifestyle!). The Birthday Massacre. Echo & the Bunnymen. The Sisters of Mercy. Doctor Who. How every street in Austin eventually loops around and you are back where you started.

The I wish it could be better things:

Car Repairs. Tailgaters. The weird freeways, turnarounds and all. Bad Drivers. No Pacific Ocean. The heat. My sorrow at not having hung out with the Birdsell twins. How everyplace indoors is like a walk in freezer even when it is 110 degrees or 40 degrees outside. No good record or used DVD stores (I am spoiled by CD Trader and Amoeba). How I have to go further for stuff and not have places within walking distance or a short drive.

The Stuff I am looking forward to:

The House. And working around the house. Drawing on a regular basis. Maybe finally getting started on writing some stuff and hopefully getting good at it. Combichrist. KMFDM. The New Cure album. The new Cure Tour (please do not make me drive to Dallas or Houston just to see you guys). Absolute Sandman. The second series of the new Doctor Who. Hopefully, more Aint-it-Cool News screenings.

Overall Consensus: B+

I still miss Southern California. I enjoy Austin but still feel no real attachment to the city and the State. I am sure that is bound to change when the house comes along and I have a place I can truly call my own. Till then, who knows?
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52 and a R.I.P.

July 24, 2006

This is my fifty second week in the State of Texas. This coming Thursday makes it my three hundred and sixty fifth day here. I think the cats miss California as well.

Yay.

Or Something.

On a different note, the actor Mako passed away this past weekend. I had the opportunity once to shake his hand and get his autograph at a martial arts convention. However, I was too cheap to pay for an autograph so I just admired him from afar (and made jokes about what the hell my grandfather was doing at a martial arts convention). An admirable man who tried to improve the image of Asians and Asian Americans in popular media as well as helping establishing the acclaimed East West Players, this country’s first Asian American Theater Company. He was supposed to voice Splinter in the new TMNT movie, but they will probably give that to George Takei now or something. He was the best thing in the Bulletproof Monk movie and that was a movie that had the two fisted gun god.

Kick ass in heaven, Makoto Iwamatsu.

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Us Versus Them

emJuly 19, 2006

MOTHER NATURE CONTINUES HER ATTACK ON PUNY HUMANS.

Another tsunami has hit. Fires are burning down communities in California. Thunderstorms are expected in Texas in the middle of hundred degree weather. The polar caps are melting. A heat wave in Europe.

Retaliate.

Burn something. Eat some meat. Drive when you could have walked. Throw that soda can in the trash. Litter.
________________________________________________________________________
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What I Want

July 18, 2006

What I want at this moment:

1) A big giant robot. Like the ones the have in the Gundam anime or that crappy Robot Jox movie
2) A Tardis
3) A car with guided Missiles
4) THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 1 HARDCOVER
(Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, Steve Parkhouse, Kelley Jones, Charles Vess and Colleen Doran
Cover by Dave McKean
THE SANDMAN, written by New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman, was the most acclaimed comic book title of the 1990s. A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, THE SANDMAN is also widely considered one of the most original and artistically ambitious series of the modern age. By the time it concluded in 1996, it had made significant contributions to the artistic maturity of comic books and become a pop culture phenomenon in its own right.
Now, DC Comics is proud to present this comics classic in an all-new Absolute Edition format. The first of four beautifully designed slipcased volumes, THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 1 collects issues #1-20 of THE SANDMAN and features completely new coloring, approved by the author on the first 18 issues, as well as a host of never-before-seen extra material including the complete original Sandman proposal, a gallery of character designs from Gaiman and the artists who originated the look of the Sandman, and the original script for the World Fantasy Award-winning THE SANDMAN #19, “A Midsummer Night's Dream," together with reproductions of the issue’s original pencils by Charles Vess. Also included are a new introduction by DC President & Publisher Paul Levitz and an afterword by Gaiman.
Advance-solicited; on sale November 1 • 612 pg, FC, $99.00 US • MATURE READERS)
5) World Peace

Is this too much to ask?

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Round Eyes and D & D


Israeli girls write messages on shells ready for firing towards Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

That is just odd.

July 18, 2006

Round eyes being discriminated? It can only happen in Hawaii, where 60% of the population is of either islander or Asian descent. An interesting topic being discussed at http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archives/2006/07/hawaiis_unique.html#more , where according to the main entry it might be the only place outside of the NBA where white people may feel discrimination. Hah, they made a funny. But racism or unjust discrimination is never funny. Just because they picked on us in the past does not mean we get a chance to pick on them once we get bigger than them. We (as a whole) are supposed to be better than that, are we not? I have never been to Hawaii properly, so I cannot really comment on the situation there.

However, I did go to a high school where, at the time, round eyes were a minority (I believe at the time, it was just a little over 50% Hispanic, about 30% white and the rest being Asian, African-American and other; the school had a higher than usual Filipino population due to the Navy having a base close by). There were certain groups that tended to keep to themselves, but for the most part, people were mixed racially in their groups. It was not until I got to Cal State Northridge did I find the racial groups keeping to themselves. Not that I saw crosses burning in people’s front yards or anything. Although I did try to keep myself away from FASA (the Filipino American Student Association) because their group members tended to keep themselves in higher regard over others. An example of this is of twins I used to know. They were halo-halo; half Filipino and half white. One looked more like one half than the other. And vice versa. Guess which one the FASA kids treated better and which one they just ignored?

And again, not all the FASA kids were like that. But enough to keep me away from them. But that does not let you round eyes off the hook either. I have had my share of you folk going ching chong at me thinking I would understand them. Dude, I barely speak Tagalog. And do not get me started about the one time someone offered me chop sticks at a party where all they had here burgers, hot dogs and pizza. Oh, and that I know kung fu. I so wish.

The funny thing about California and Texas (or at least Austin)? California is more like my high school where you have a nice amount of diversity and the various races would mix. Texas would be more like Cal State Northridge where the different races are there but they all tend to keep to themselves. I wonder if it is different on the UT campus, but me being a townie, I do not get invited to the university shin digs.

Moving along now.

Next up is the dilemma of the farmers of the villages Daechuri and Doduri in Korea or D&D so I do not have to keep spelling that. Detailed more at www.saveptfarmers.org , it is the plight of farmers being forced off their land so the US Military can expand their bases in that country. The response of the farmers to declare themselves autonomous of the Korean government and renouncing their citizenship. According the aforementioned website, the farmers receive no provincial funding and, on official records, have ceased to exist. Can they help it? The declaring themselves thing, not the non-existent thing. Hey, we need you land. Move over now. Your farmers? Like we care. Reminds of the time in Oxnard, CA when they paved over the strawberry fields just so they can extend the freeway. Dude, what is Oxnard without the strawberries?

Meanwhile, back in Korea. Apparently the military riot police, back in March of this year have begun forcing residents out of the villages of D&D. People got beat up and they got arrested. But they backed down. And the military started work on rice fields, digging them up and filling up waterways. Dude, now you are just a bully. There is more but then I would just be repeating what is on the website. The villagers and the government have talked, protesters have made human chains around bulldozers and more people have been beaten up. As of May 2nd of this year, the intent to forcibly remove the villagers continues.

I do not mind the American military having a base in South Korea, what with Uncle Kim up north being missile happy and all. But did you guys need to have a repeat of what happened to the American Indians? In a century or so, will the villagers of Daechuri and Doduri be returned land to build casinos upon? Everyone who remained in their homes will be guilty of trespassing on federal property. Imagine if that happened to you. In this country. By the way, the actions that led to this does not have the support of the Korean people, it was developed in "high-level consultations" between the US Military and the Korean Ministry of National Defense.

Fun.

There are folk going around talking about this situation and I believe Amnesty International are involved somehow as well. Listen to them if you get a chance. There are bombs going off in Israel, gas is going up again and it is hotter that hell at the moment. There may be more important things going on at the moment. But listen to them if for at least a moment. They are going to lose their homes and their livelihood. Their personal worlds are ending and against impossible odds they are fighting.

That is worth a look at least.

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Stomp, stomp and hey, I saw a movie this weekend and other stuff


Stomp, Stomp, Stomp...

July 17, 2006

PS: For more information in conservation of the over fishing thing, please check out the following link: http://oceanfutures.org/default.asp

Kudos also, to Mister Jam himself, Nury Vitacchi for the encouragement for me to continue writing stuff. I will have more stories up.

Eventually.

And to Nick for the comments re: the fish thing. One day, I will remove the yoke that the meat industry has hoisted upon me and become vegetarian. You know, maybe there is no time like the present to start. Tell you what, let me finish all the meat products I have at home and try it out. As soon as that is done, I will go get some gardenburgers and other soy alternatives and see how long I last before going back to beef, chicken and bacon. Now, this starts after I have exhausted all the meat at home, so I can still have bacon for breakfast today. Right?

How much meat do I have at home anyway? A bag of meatballs. Some pizza pockets. Six beef pepper steak TV dinners. A bag of frozen garlic chicken. Several cans of chicken tortilla soup and Italian sausage. And other stuff I am sure I am forgetting.

I will tell you how it all goes.

The Vegetarian Experiment.

Soon to be a major motion picture.

Because nothing is a minor motion picture.

Speaking of which, I saw the Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift this weekend. My prognosis? If you have a choice between this movie and the Initial D live action movie, go see Initial D instead. It is not that the movie is bad; it is just that Initial D did it so much better. Tokyo Drift has gotten press from Asian American interest websites due to its, let us say, nonstandard portrayal of Asians in an American film. I would not call it a completely positive portrayal as there are still the obligatory yakuza and they still take a back seat to the gaijin/gweilo/round eye. But there are no jokes about how short we are, how small our equipment supposedly is, how the food/customs is just so weird nor does the round eye get the Asian girl in the end. He gets an Australian one. In fact, in all respect, the round eye should be the bad guy in this film- however the story is just told from his point of view and this movie is sold to the American audience primarily. But did he have to be a screw up red neck that wanders into any new place like he owns it, messes with the status quo and steals the Asian guy’s girl? An allusion to American Imperialism, perhaps?

It has been said that director Justin Lin wanted an Asian American as the lead, that the studios actually auditioned some APA’s but in the end, whey went with a round eye. The director said that he was chosen because he was the best one for the role. Never mind the passing resemblance to the round eye who was in the other two Fast & the Furious movies, whatever his name was, so people would think he was in this movie as well. I wonder if an APA would have been cast, if the character would still have the Southern Drawl. Cutting straight to the point, I did not care for the round eye as the lead. The other characters fared better, even Lil Bow Wow and especially Sung Kang apparently reprising the character Han from Better Luck Tomorrow.

The drifting scenes were done well. They are still better done in Initial D. But there are not as many as you think there would be. Now that this movie is done, Justin Lin is going back and doing smaller movies, the first of which is a comedic take on the finishing of the movie that Bruce Lee was making when he died featuring the Better Luck Tomorrow cast.

You can count me there.

By the way, the San Diego Comicon is this week. Or Nerd Prom as Warren Ellis puts it. The convention was always one of those I have always meant to go to but money and work usually got in the way (not to mention the crowds). From what I hear, there will be some cool panels and people there.

Now if I were there, I would go to the Stardust movie panel (Stardust being an awesome Neil Gaiman book- get the illustrated one- it is a lot better). I would also go to the Transformers panel and hope they show us what the big guys are going to look like. And I would give an old friend, Leila Tilghman a visit. She apparently has a booth this year. She is an animator now and from what I last heard, a San Diego resident. Go tell her I said Hi.

That and wonder in horror how many fanboys come dressed up as Japanese schoolgirls.

Plus: Crisis in the Middle East! Or at least another one. Growing up, I used to wonder at the fact that everyday there would be something on the news in regards to Lebanon. Looks like they are back at it. So now what? I bet you by this time next year, we will be paying the same amount for gas the rest of the world does (what, about five bucks a gallon?). Time to warm up them running shoes of mine.

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Yup


The Germans love Mr. Bush. So much so, they gave him a barrel of himself.

July 13, 2006

PS: For more information in conservation of the over fishing thing, please check out the following link: http://oceanfutures.org/default.asp


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Eating Fish is Evil

My Manta Ray is alright...for now...

July 13, 2006

A couple of things:

1) Good Luck to my good friend Erika S. (Hi-YAH!) whose last day at Casa was yesterday. One of my favourite people at Casa, I hope your future is bright and happy and full of foreheads to slap and shins to kick.
2) Congratulations to my other favourite person at Casa, my old boss and still the bestest boss in the world Donna A. just got a promotion. I think she is the number three person there now. She should be number one.
3) Dude, thanks for the call last week Brian, it was nice to hear a voice from home if only for a short while. I probably will not be able to make it to Arizona next month to hang with you and Jeremy. But SXSW next year! As long as the bands that show up do not suck.

Now for something not really that different:

I do not eat seafood. And by the way, that includes fresh water fish like catfish. Plenty of people think it is odd that someone of Asian/Pacific Islander descent does not eat seafood. True, every person of Asian/Pacific Islander descent that I know including all of my family loves seafood. I remember the days when my uncle would make crab and everyone would be happy (since he is an awesome cook) and I would be in the corner eating a hot dog. I know- crab vs. unwanted meat from several animals. But I just never developed a like for seafood. My mother thinks it is some sort of childhood taunting from my sister that I never liked seafood. I think she is on crack.

I have tried seafood though. I have tried all types of fish (even a bit of shark someone gave my uncle once), sushi, crab, lobster, sea cucumber, shrimp and dried squid. At least I can say I tried it at least.

But for me, not eating seafood comes down to two things:

1) How can you eat that? Most shrimp, lobster and crab are bottom feeders and the equivalent of eating cockroaches. I do not think I can eat anything that is cold blooded, has that many legs and looks like it crawled out of hell’s butt. Plus they taste bad. No matter who says what and how many spices you put in it.

And, more importantly:

2) The world is catching fish and other seafood faster than they can replenish themselves. In French Polynesia, there are noticeably more quid because their predators are gone. A HUNDRED MILLION sharks are caught each year just for their fins. Dude, that is just wrong. I am surprised that they are even sharks left out there. People now have to fish deeper because the catch at lower depths is all gone. Now you have to eat fish that look like they swam out of hell’s other butt. And the way you fish accidentally kills all kinds of other animals because you do not mind your nets or your traps.

Two Thirds of this planet is covered in water. But the ones who live in the remaining one third is turning the oceans into nothing more that a lifeless abyss.

On a slightly related note: The West African Black Rhino is extinct.

There may be other issues that people may perceive to be more important. Immigration. The various wars that we did not want. Politics. Sports. Movies. Whatever.

But honestly, I think that the oceans will continue be over fished no matter what I or anyone say anyway. And one day when you find out your sushi is filled with beef (or probably fish flavoured soy) you will just have to go to the beach and wonder why there is nothing alive in this big blue thing.

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Earth Hates You (now with gooder English)

Thousand Oaks in California is burning. Almost thirty other forest fires are raging in the western portion of the continental United States. And they are lasting weeks longer that they did twenty years ago. And it is all attributable to global warming. Somewhere, Al Gore is laughing and saying I Told You So. Elswehere, Mother Gaia is prepping her arsenal for retribution.

Mother Earth hates you for hurting her.

Earth Hates You

Thousand Oaks in California is burning. Almost thirty other forest fires are raging in the western portion of the continental United States. And they are lasting weeks longer thatn they did twenty years ago. And it is all attirbutable to glogal warming. Somewhere, Al Gore is laughing and saying I Told You So. Elswehere, Mother Gaia is prepping her arsenal for retribution.

Mother Earth hates you for hurting her.

Looking up at the sky...

July 05, 2006

So, it is apparently 104 degrees in Sacramento, California (people here are talking loudly about their vacations) and here is it raining and indoors, my fingers are blue. If you do not hear from me again, I have died due to exposure.

Hope you guys had a happy Fourth of July.

I saw Superman Returns. I am, of course, a comic book, sci-fi geek. Probably, the only movie I will see in theatres for the rest of the year although I would not mind seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or the Jet Li movie Fearless. There are plenty of reviews and what seems like dissertations on the movie out there. So you do not need me to hash out a huge, long review of it.

I enjoyed the movie. Hearing the Superman theme blasted out though huge speakers and seeing the Big Blue Boy scout save the world made me misty eyed. I saw John Williams conduct at the Hollywood Bowl the Superman Theme while wearing a shirt with the S shield. It was fun. But The Man of Tomorrow was not saving the world at the same time. The movie is not the typical summer movie crowd pleaser. It is a little more cerebral, a little more emotional and less more big explosions, although there are those as well. The new Superman displays a hidden sadness as he realizes how alone he will have to be in the world that constantly needs his help.

It is not as good as the original Donner film, but a decent follow up. Bring on the sequel? Sure, but give Lex a day off and let us see Braniac or Darkseid. No Doomsday or Batman team ups please. At least not yet.

5 Stars!
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