Sunday, October 26, 2003

migrating bird pictures

migrating birds

Friday, October 24, 2003

magical light

i'm in a fabulous mood tonight. maybe it was last nights magical sunset, with the birds in the background, maybe it was the fact that i've gotten to walk a lot in the past couple days, maybe it's the luscious warm sunny weather we are having, maybe it's cause the kids at Moscone were fun today -- i didn't have to struggle to hard with them to work today --, maybe it's just the right chemical balance i've hit today.

whatever it is it feels good, and it will be fun to talk to liz tonight when she returns with stories of manatees and shell searching on florida beaches.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

ahhh the fog.

the fog was coming in on my way to a Exploratorium focus group the other day. amazing to watch

i love my san francisco

i walked to meet a friend today. my bike had a flat and I felt I needed the exercise and besides, the weather has been amazing. nice and warm, sunny, with the most amazing sunsets... the clouds all whispy and stretched across the sky, white paint brushed in thin streaks across the sky, white turning to a deep orange as the sun sets behind the twin peaks fog.

the most amazing thing today though was the birds at the metreon. i'd noticed them a couple times in the past month gathering in the trees of yerba buena gardens, chattering away madly. here today though there were thousands wheeling through the sky, different flocks shifting back and forth, melding, dividing. The edges of the Loews theater were lined with the birds, chirping away framed against the sides.

the weird thing was that I felt, besides another couple I was the only one looking. most people walked on by heads down, not caring. How couldn't they? I thought. How could they just ignore this amazing thing happening above their heads?

anyway, so i walked home as well. walking does wonders for me, puts me in the best of moods, makes me reflect, observe, see a little deeper. when I am the most awake perhaps...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

movie review: dirty pretty things

last but not least, we did go out one night. it's a good well paced and acted thriller. it was interesting to watch a british film filmed in London where there was only one or two actual native "English" people playing a part.

the characters are all immigrants of one country or another trying to make their way in the big city. the two main characters, and african and a turkish woman, are illegals, and have to dodge the coppers on a couple of occassions.

The African, Okway (sp?) -- who we discover is a doctor originally from Nigeria -- works two different jobs, and sleeps little, pursuing chess in a morgue with a Chinese friend when he is not working.

One night at his hotel job he makes a discovery that is to change his life in london. As he uncovers the reasons behind his discovery, his hotel boss, Mr Juan, methodically traps him into doing something he really does not want to do.

The story isn't without it's flaws, but it is well told, and all the acting is great. Mr. Juan is particularly insidious. Okway though really carrys it all...

movie review: the personals

yes another movie! we saw a lot this weekend. liz was sick, and so we didn't do a whole lot of going out. it was nice.

this movie, I also really liked. it was made in Taiwan and is in mandarin ( sub-title haters beware ). It tells the story of a woman who is fed up with her career and aborted love life, and takes out an ad in a paper to find herself a husband.

the movie is mostly her interviewing perspective mates: who are at turns sad, disgusting, dull and or just plain old evil. The movie is shot with lots of closeups, holding in on a character for a long time, often at a slightly odd angle or not as the center focus of the screen. It was sometimes a little distracting and might be termed pretentious and unnecessary by some, but overall it added something I can't quite describe.

the woman's exasperation became palpable by the end of it. she obviously has her own issues, and they are slowly unraveled through the film, quite brilliantly I think.

while very comic, it is slow and does have a very sad and melancholy undertone -- not unlike lost in translation actually. overall, I think it was an excellent film.

movie review: haiku tunnel

a great little film from san francisco, partially due to a great little performance space around the corner from us, the Marsh. it's a comedy of errors that takes place in a law firm, and the hazards of going from temp to perm.

some scenes are painful along the same lines as the voice machine scene in Swingers, where the star keeps calling back over and over because he is getting cut off. you cringe as you watch the main character go into major self-destruct.

movie review: billy eliot

for some reason, I had for a long time resisted seeing this movie. i think i suffered from the same resistance to ballet that billy's father and brother had. you want to do what?

but it's a really great, fun movie, with some deeper undercurrents -- well in the tradition of musical, dancing irish and british islanders ( the committments, full monty, etc. ). And great accents as well -- but not too deep.

my wife pointed out that he was doing an awful lot of tap for someone studying ballet, but hey you have to have some liberties I suppose, and (he says somewhat hesitantly) it might be a little more interesting to watch.

I think if you were a big fan of fred astaire movies you might have seen more. fred astaire movies are pretty great the few I've seen courtesy of my younger dancing sister...

Friday, October 10, 2003

speaking of drinking

friends of mine held the very first "seaweed - sheep's milk cheese - scotch - dress like a pirate" party which was a rousing success. my part -- the scotch brogue brogue off was a brilliant hit -- partially because it was held AFTER the nine whiskey scotch-off, although it should be said that the non-drinker in the crowd pulled it out and was victorious.

i'd had an enjoyable couple days preparing for it, watching trainspotting and so i married an ax murderer to pick up quotes and get into the accent a little more. More and more I picked up that there are, like Irish, actually quite a few variations on the Scottish brogue. The Groundskeeper Willy quotes were the biggest hits, though a few things went off brilliantly, like the whole room breaking into the Proclaimer's song that everyone knows ( that is everyone except the person who was asked to sing it) "And i would walk 500 more, just to be the man to fall down at your door. Da da DA da... Da da DA da... Da Da da da dum"

In a word, it was a pleasure, pleasure like, for everyone's leisure.

My favorite quote, despite being english was from trainspotting "It's shite being Scottish, we're the lowest of the low... Some people hate the English. I don't hate! The English are wankers. We on the other hand were colonized by wankers. We couldn't even find a decent culture to be colonized by!"

drinking review

a week or so ago i went to drinks with a bunch of Yahoos. several of my friends were there but i was bored to tears -- partly because my friends descended into the depths of motorbike talk which there is often no return, partly because i had not real desire to try and meet anyone new.

last night however, drinking with edj and ff, now that was what i think going out to a bar and drinking is all about. high minded, semi-drunken philosophizing!

i remember back in college, having finished our ecology final, a few of my classmates and i, and the TA who I had a crush on, ended up at my favorite warm afternoon hangout in Ann Arbor -- Domonics. their lovely pitchers of strawberry daquiries were flowing, and my classmates -- who i up until then I thought were little better than dull frat boys I had no desire to hang out with -- became brilliant thinkers and observers. it was a startling transformation.

of course, there is a diminishing return which I try to avoid at all costs, lest the next day be too painful.

Friday, October 03, 2003

move review: lost in translation

it's interesting that i have yet to read a favorable review of this movie, but almost all my friends who have seen it, really like it. I certainly liked it, partially because of my own experience having been lost in a culture I can't quite comprehend. I think it captured the feeling rather well, and I did not mind its lack of plot, and slowness. I found it quite refreshing in fact.

book review: the girl with the pearl earring

a beautifully rendered coming of age story. a smart and sassy young girl forced by poverty into the service of a wealthier family -- the family of one of the dutch masters. her intelligence and beauty lead her into great things, but also a great deal of trouble trying to weather the turmoils of the household, never able to get on the good side of everyone. She does get to witness and participate and help the great painter, Veermeer, do his work. We get a glimpse of this process and can imagine why it and the man captivate her. And vice versa. It will be interesting to see how the movie comes out.

lovely fall

The weather is gray gray gray, and on the cool side. which most people hate, but i find quite nice -- makes me nostalgic for Michigan falls. It was even more like fall up in Seattle where Liz and I went for a wedding a few weekends back. Steel gray clouds, a chill wind, and falling leaves. It made me think of being a kid and out with the family on a Sunday afternoon, trodding through the leaves in Maybury State Park or someother such location. Still I hope our summer is quite over yet. Even though we had some really warm days it did not seem like we had enough over all. But maybe I'm being greedy.

I do have a hard time remembering patterns in the weather. When does it usually get cold, when are the warmest days, when does it begin to rain. Maybe its because in all reality SF weather does not really vary that much. There's a rain season and a non rain season, and there is more fog and more heat in the non-rain season. That would about do it.