2007.10.11

Three Too Many

Today was shot from the get go. Somehow I, the zombie, managed to get myself to work (late) and got through the day (slowly, mindlessly). Why? Because last night I participated in the bi-weekly drinking event called ALPHAbar SF. They are determined to hit a bar for every letter in the alphabet, and last night was the letter C. We went to City Tavern in Cow Hollow.

I thought my gin and tonic was a bit weak, so I drank a few too many and by the time others were ready to head out dancing and do more drinking I was done. As in plastered. Stumblingly so. I hate that feeling of not being able to even walk in a straight line. I hate that feeling of wanting to have an intelligent conversation with the taxi driver, of knowing just what the witty thing to say, but having my mouth fail to utter anything coherent. And worse, knowing I was incoherent. Suck.

But I had a good time and in another two weeks I’ll be going out again. Next time I’ll use some restraint… If you’re interested, the ALPHAbar SF is open for anyone to come along. You’ll even get a card to keep track of the places visited!

2 Comments | Catergorized: friends  life  san francisco

2007.10.08

Beirut in San Francisco

Tonight KT from work convinced me to go see the band Beirut play at the Herbst Theater. I’m only passingly familar with their work and I have a few observations about the band, the show and the venue. Though it will sound like a list of criticism, I really did enjoy the show and would see them again (though see #2; different location!).

1: The few songs I know I really like. The sound is unique and fairly well constructed. That being said a lot of the songs tonight sounded far too similar to the rest of the songs. When I’m noticing similar phrasing and melody between songs it’s time to switch it up, boys!

2: The Herbst Theater is not the best venue for a show like this. It’s a sit down theater and until the encore that’s what everyone did. Except a few people dancing along the aisles, that is, who had as much rhythm as a pack to tripping hippies. Then -finally!- at the encore people suddenly mobbed the front. Suddenly the energy that could have been there the whole show appeared and I think the band and the audience enjoyed themselves much more. Location location location!

3: Zach Condon is the driving force behind Beirut. Though only 21 years old he has apparently been performing for years. So I say this with dripping sarcasm: it was kind of exciting when he finally opened his eyes and started looking at the audience. Open your eyes! Jeez. I still remember Allison getting on my case about not making eye contact whenever I performed. Hopefully Zach gets this soon.

4: Dudes… Too many people on stage? I know some bands are quite large but, really, that many?

5: The audio mixing could have used some work. I’m not sure if that was because of the venue (where the sound board might have been poorly placed) or a bad technician working the board. Don’t get me wrong… It wasn’t bad but there were times where it was obvious someone was playing and I couldn’t hear the instrument at all. Then again maybe that’s why they needed three people playing ukelele at the same time.

6: Zach brilliantly closed the show with a solo performance (with ukelele) covering Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Despite flubbing the lyrics (and covering it up with a laugh and a side along glance) it was really nice to hear.

It was a good show and I’m glad KT convinced me to go. As some of you know I’m notoriously difficult to drag out once I’m home and settled. But it was Beirut… I had to go see what they were like. If you get a chance you should, too.

Comments Off on Beirut in San Francisco | Catergorized: audio  life  san francisco

2007.10.07

Marriage of the Living Dark

At long last I’ve finally finished David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo series. A couple weeks ago I ordered the final book, The Marriage of the Living Dark, about 10 years after it was first printed. Exactly three weeks ago I started the first book in the series and today I finished the last one.

I’m still digesting the ending. Parts of it I don’t really understand and I think, for reading it only once, that it jumped around a bit too much. Other parts I was surprised by how familar the events were. It was like I’d read it all before though I know I hadn’t.

My next project relating to this series will be to read the excellent series of interviews and commentary Bob Newell has gathered. I see there’s a section on Mr. Wingrove’s reflections after finishing the first seven novels; I wish there was one for the eighth!

Next I’ll be going back into my manga reading. I’m dreadfully behind and really want to finish Death Note though, perhaps, that title will soon become taboo.

Comments Off on Marriage of the Living Dark | Catergorized: books

2007.10.04

Second Annual Halloween Party

We’re having another Halloween party at my place. If you’re in the area stop by! Details are here.

Comments Off on Second Annual Halloween Party | Catergorized: life

2007.10.02

Motorcycle Classes

After years of procrastination and urging from friends I finally signed up for motorcycle classes. I’ve wanted to ride since high school but it was never a priority. Now, suddenly, I might have my license. I’m sure when my parents hear about this they’ll have words for me! I suppose it’s a good thing I’m on my own now…

5 Comments | Catergorized: life  motorcycle  san francisco

2007.09.27

Resident Evil: Extinction

I meant to post this earlier since I saw it with friends over the weekend, but sad news at work put me off it. Now I’m ready.

Resident Evil: Extinction rocked. Yes, there were some dreadfully confusing bits but I didn’t really care. The action was solid, the creatures (like the ravens) were creepy, and it has Milla Jovovich in it. Really, the only thing I though lame was the ending… This wasn’t because of how it ended, but simply because it happened too fast. See it, you’ll know what I mean.

Redge and Hiromi had an interesting theory about the Resident Evil series they told us before the movie started. Thier theory is that at the end of every movie Milla will be shown naked. It turns out their theory was accurate! Also true to form, the ending is open enough that it could lead into another movie. Maybe after Milla has her first child.

Finally, a little note to the three Chinese guys who say next to me in the theater. SHUT THE FSCK UP. It’s a movie, not a place to hold long, loud conversations. Is it even possible to whisper in Chinese? I have to assume so but these twats couldn’t, even with half the theater telling the to shut up. People like that… there should be a way of getting them kicked out. Something combining an electric chair and an airplane ejection seat. Without a parachute.

But the movie was great! Go see it!

Comments Off on Resident Evil: Extinction | Catergorized: friends  movies

2007.09.24

Kevin Chan, RIP

Today I learned that my friend and coworker, Kevin Chan, passed away over the weekend. He will be sorely missed. He was only (if I remember) 36.

Kevin Chan at the VIZ bowling party

1 Comment | Catergorized: friends  work

2007.09.23

4×4 Ayes

So Jason tagged me with one of these things where you answer all kinds of questions and then tag others in the hope that they reveal as much information as you do so your answers aren’t quite so embarrassing when you look at them the day after you post them. Jason’s post is a series of four answers for various personal stats. My post title pays homage to the nature of fours, his post title, the fact that I didn’t post anything for Talk Like a Pirate Day, and an old anime called 3×3 Eyes. I’m kind of proud of how much reference is in that title. :)

Four jobs I have had (current job excluded):
I’ll make these approximately in order from the first jobs that I consider “real jobs” since I’ve had far too many jobs in my life…

  1. Burger Flipper. McDonalds. My parents made a deal with me in high school that I could drive the car but I had to pay for the gas and maintenance. Not knowing what else to do I took a job in fast food just like, it seems, much of America has at that age.
  2. Industrial Drill Press Operator. Haynes Engineering and Manufacturing. For two summers I worked for my Uncle in Detroit as a drill press operator. We made many of the pumps that Detroit automakers used on their assembly lines. It was hard, dirty work but I learned a lot about honest work under the watchful eyes of my Uncle and the guys in the shop.
  3. No title. The Front Room. I don’t know if all of you are old enough to remember, but coffee shops used to be almost non-existent. There were no vente, grande, or short coffees. Certainly no frappucino sweet drinks. Despite that we were on the bleeding edge and actually had imported coffee. Ironically I didn’t drink coffee at the time.
  4. Currency Exchanger. Cekobanka. My only qualifications for this job were I could count in a couple languages and speak English natively. The job rather sucked but the people I worked with were united in their bitterness in the job and scorn for the tourists.

Four Films I have Watched Again and Again:
I’m going to divide this up into chunks of time since, really, I watch too many movies. This is probably the only part of this post where I could go on and on and on without let up, and even the answers I give will seem extremely limited. I won’t be happy with any of the answers alone…

  1. High School. Highlander. I couldn’t even tell you how many times we watched this. For quite a long time it was almost a weekly ritual. There can be only one!
  2. College. The Princess Bride and Heathers. Two of the most quotable movies in my life for a really long time. Eskimo! Another good one from this time was Dangerous Liasons.
  3. Early San Francisco. The Matrix and Starship Troopers. Although The Matrix has sort of dropped off the radar after its sequels came out and I got disillusioned with it, Starship Troopers will still come out when Mookee and I are drinking. Man, we drank a lot of Weinhards beer watching these…
  4. Late San Francisco. The Fifth Element and About a Boy. I have quite a large collection of DVDs at this point, and for some reason whenever I feel stuck on what I want to watch I keep coming to these two. There are tons of other movies I’ll watch again and again, but these two keep drawing me back.

Four Places I Have Lived:
I’ve grown up moving a lot. Comes from my Dad being in the military. Until I came to San Francisco, in fact, I hadn’t stayed anywhere more than a couple years. So here are a few of my favorites.

  1. Seoul, Korea. We lived here the first time in my preteen years. It was a brilliant time when our family pulled together. I consider my years extremely formative and can see so much of who I am today coming from those three years.
  2. Athens, Ohio. This is where I went to college. First relationships, life long friends, and loads of stories as we all started discovering our first tastes of independence.
  3. Prague, Czech Republic. Finally out of college I went to Prague. There’s so much that happened there I don’t even know what to say. So I won’t.
  4. San Francisco, California. I had a hard time picking between here and Washington, DC, but I have to choose SF. I’ve been here 10 years this month which is more than twice as long as anywhere I’ve ever lived before. For those who know me that speaks volumes.

Four Shows I Love to Watch:
This is the hardest one for me to answer because I don’t watch television. Seriously. So many of these will be “expired” shows. I think each of my shows depended hugely on their ensemble cast. There is no mistake that they are all science fiction, too. Honorable mention to Stargate.

  1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I loved this show. I think this is one of the very first American shows that had an angry black male in the lead role. It also had an angry Klingon, but that’s another story.
  2. Space: Above and Beyond. This, along with the next entry, are two shows that were given only (merely?) a single season yet I thought were amazing. S:AaB took war into space with all its ugliness, heroism, humanism, and reality. I wish they’d been given a chance to at least end the series properly.
  3. Firefly. What a show. While it started kind of awkwardly it sucked me in and didn’t let go. The idiots at Fox television made such a huge mistake in cancelling this and S:AaB above.
  4. Battlestar Galactica, old and new. I love these. I remember being allowed to stay up and watch the original series with my parents. I think it was the first show we ever watched as a family. And the new series… Well, if you’ve been reading this blog at all you know what a huge fan I am.

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation:
I haven’t had a lot of real vacations in my life. I’m not much of a vacation kind of guy. Aside from yearly trips up to Tahoe to snowboard, here are a few of my more memorable trips.

  1. Okinawa, Japan. My Dad, brother and I went to Okinawa when we were stationed in Korea the first time. My brother and I were so bloody excited to eat at a McDonalds again, much to Dad’s chagrin, but really, the whole trip was amazing. The place was so shockingly green in color…
  2. Chejudo, Korea. We went one summer break from college when I was back in Korea. The island is well and truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth and almost completely unknown outside of Korea and Japan.
  3. Oahu, Hawaii. Annemone and I visited my brother and his family when they were stationed at Pearl Harbor and went around the island. I loved visiting but I don’t think I could ever live there; too insular (which is quite an appropriate word if you know Latin).
  4. Paris, France and Prague, Czech Republic. Though part of my trip earlier this summer was for work, I did take some time off and fell in love with Europe all over again.

Four of my Favorite Foods:
I’m not really a

  1. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. For years as a kid this is what I had on my birthday every year. I will still eat a whole box of it every other week or so…
  2. Steak. Almost any kind of steak. Mmmm… meat.
  3. Chocolate covered cherries. These things are like crack to me. I’m eating some now.
  4. Lasagna. I don’t know what it is about lasagna. Amazing. Safeway makes an amazing vegetarian lasagna. I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch but this stuff is addictive. I’ve even gotten friends hooked on it.

Four of my Favorite Drinks:

  1. Jolt Cola. I wish this stuff were more widely available out here. I’d drink it to the exclusion of almost anything else.
  2. Coffee. Love it. Live it.
  3. Fermented and unfermented red grape. I love red wine, almost any kind of varietal. Also in the last year I’ve been drinking gallon on gallon of grape juice. It’s actually helped me cut the amount of Coke I drink dramatically.
  4. Coca Cola. I do still drink Coke, though. I used to drink tons of it (since Jolt is hard to find) but in the past few years I just have some with lunch. Sadly (?) I don’t even always finish the bottle I start anymore.

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:

  1. Paris.
  2. Prague.
  3. New Zealand.
  4. Asleep.

Four Bloggers I’m Tagging:
Let’s see if I can break the bad luck I have getting others to take this up…

  1. Carlos Costa at Population Statistic. Let’s see how adorkable his lists are. :)
  2. Kevin at Humble Tidbits of Vacuity. I can’t wait to hear more about his vacations.
  3. Mr. Brown at Brown That Banana. Really I just want to see what pictures he uses.
  4. Banana Boy over at Banana Land. Nothing to do with Mr. Brown’s blog. I keep hoping he’ll do one of these.
7 Comments | Catergorized: college  dc  family  food-drink  friends  korea  life  movies  paris  prague  san francisco  tahoe  tv  work

2007.09.19

So You Want To Be an Astronaut?

Via Slashdot comes the news that NASA is looking to hire 10 – 15 brand new astronauts. Awesome!

The pilots, scientists, engineers and educators that NASA recruits will train primarily for three- to six-month missions aboard the international space station. However, some could be among those who stroll on the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s plan to return human explorers to the lunar surface by 2020 aboard the shuttle fleet’s successor spacecraft.

The requirements are that you’re a US citizen between 5’2″ and 6’3″ with at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological or physical science, or mathematics and vision correctable to 20/20. The deadline for application appears to be next July 1st. Alas, this is too soon for me to get that second bachelor’s degree… If I could even make up my mind which one to get.

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  science

2007.09.18

Beat Boing Boing to the Punchline

bOING bOING is one of the most-read blogs on the net and has been for a long time. I remember when I first discovered the site I was always impressed by the range of material and how fresh it seemed. Later, when I started my own blog and OOKEE.com I started noticing that a lot of the stuff they post is old hat for me. In fact sometimes they are posting items that I’d seen (and often posted) and forgotten about. The “fresh” at that point is more a “refresh” and sometimes I’ll visit the link just for fun. Take, for example, this post, which I’d posted a full week before here; and the link itself was posted over a month before either of us!

Has anyone else ever noticed this? I’m sure it can’t be only bOING bOING that has this weird post-freshness issue. I know with OOKEE.com I don’t even pretend to be posting items that are fresh; I don’t have time to dig the work for what’s hot and what’s not. But it’s always weird to me to see old stuff on a site I’d always admired for its newness.

In the marketing world you can always see who isn’t in a position of power and influence by the fact that Company Alpha never refers to Company Beta in their ad campaigns, but Company Beta is always comparing themselves to Company Alpha. I’m not trying to compare myself to bOING bOING (that would be tedious!) but I do sometimes think it would be amusing to award badges to some sites the “I Beat Boing Boing to the Punchline” badge of honor.

Now excuse me while I go back to reading their posts about the TSA, copyright, weird alt-porn, and lately gadgets.

Comments Off on Beat Boing Boing to the Punchline | Catergorized: geek  grrr  thoughts