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June 30, 2006

Movie Day

As it was the beginning of the Fourth of July weekend, I took some vacation time and went to an early showing of Superman Returns before going down to work. I don't think I had any expectations to speak of, so I hope my reactions were mostly unbiased. I enjoyed the movie, liked Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor, and felt that they were mostly faithful to the general concepts of the comic character. It's also nice to get the taste of Superman III and Superman IV out off my mouth after all these years. Now I can just pretend they were a bad dream.

Still, all the while I was watching it, I felt less like I was watching a sequel than a review. It felt like we were being given an overview of the principal characters to remind us of what we were supposed to know. Sort of as if this was a dry run, and that the franchise will really take off with the second movie starring Brandon Routh. Assuming they get the box office response I imagine they will, I'm sure I'll find out in about a year...

As if that were not enough, when I got home this evening, I decided that I wanted to watch something on my den television, as I'd had such a good experience watching Koi...Mil Gaya. So I dug through my pile of Asian movies I keep in store for re-run season, and pulled out the DVD I bought on Max's say-so: Bayside Shakedown. The supplied link gives a fair assessment of the movie, so I won't repeat all the same info here. Suffice to say that I enjoyed it plenty, and thank Max for the reference.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006

Musical Interlude

Tonight has been a musical one. Renee turned 11 on the 20th this month, and one of her presents was a dance pad and Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3. So when I got home, she and Jean were taking turns doing the dances.

I went upstairs and had some supper, watching a movie in the den. The movie is Koi ... Mil Gaya, which apparently means "I've Found Someone". Like so many Bollywood movies, it is a musical. This is my first Indian musical, and I have to say I'm pretty fond of it. Production values are low, the choreography is strange at best, the storyline is charitably characterized as a kid's movie, but it still tickles me.

After I ate, I paused the movie and went down to watch Renee DDR away. She's manic, and I got nervous just watching. I got on the treadmill for some exercise, since I knew it was futile to try to hit even one arrow in the game. I actually stumbled a couple of times watching the arrows scroll up the screen while walking!

Soon the DDR extravaganza was over, and I went upstairs, took a shower, and returned to my Bollywood movie. Eventually Renee joined me, and confirmed my suspicion that Koi ... Mil Gaya makes a pretty good kid's movie. We watched it right up to Jean's bedtime, when I had to stop it, since the den is right next to the bedroom. Two and a quarter hours have elapsed in the movie, and the final crisis hasn't even occurred! How long is this thing?

So anyway, looking forward to finishing it, hopefully tomorrow night after work. I think my next Bollywood movie will be a horror movie ... and of course, a musical.

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2006

A New Salsa

At Jean's behest, I prepared a new salsa recipe tonight (at America's Test Kitchen, free but eventually to be behind their paywall). This is the second Cook's Illustrated salsa I've tried. It's a bit more work than the first, and while I'm sure it tastes different, I'm not so sure it's any better. I will have to do a side-by-side comparison sometime later this summer.

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:55 PM | Comments (4)

June 20, 2006

Tween

My little girl is growing up <sniff>. And it's really annoying...

Renee turned 11 today! But there will be no banner photo of the event, as she asked me not to. She said "Dad! Stop doing that! [taking pictures as she unwrapped presents] And don't put a picture up on your weblog!" (doesn't mean something might not show up on my Flickr account sooner or later, though...)

So what does an eleven year-old do? Well, she takes her first flute lesson, apparently. Jean took her to this august event earlier today. The teacher was trying to encourage Renee to blow harder by asking her if she ever got mad at her brother/sister. Renee said she didn't have one. Jean said, "you get mad at me sometimes..." and Renee blew real hard!

In the evening, we all went out to eat at Yeatsy's, an infrequent but favorite spot. Afterwards we went home to unwrap the presents, during which I snapped a few pics, much to Renee's annoyance. She got a 'know thyself' quiz book, which alternately charmed and enraged her. She also got a crystal growing kit, a butterfly ranch and Dance Dance Revolution for the XBox. I expect to get a report tomorrow on her experiences with that.

We postponed the inevitable birthday party until this weekend, so some of her friends could go with her to a local Laser Tag emporium. I'll report on that afterwards.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2006

Search and Return

I tore apart three closets today, working up a dusty sweat. I was looking for a book that the corporate librarian at my workplace said I had checked out. I know I checked it out, say, six years ago! She even offered to renew it for me! Enough time has passed, even, that the book is out of print, superceded by an expanded volume, CJKV Information Processing.

So on the off chance that I'd stored it along with my own Japanese books (kanji dictionaries, course books, manga, etc.) I started tracking down that box. In the end, I found it in the garage, and not in a closet at all. So it goes back on Monday.

On the bright side, I found a box of CDs in one of the closets, including one I'd been looking for for the longest time, Mel & George "Do" World War II. I'm now ripping it into iTunes so's I can listen to it on my iPod tomorrow while tracking insidious bugs...

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

A Breather

For the first time in a few weeks I got to visit with my friends. Jean got off work early, so I even got to show up before 7pm. Tom hosted at his place, and Bo and Lisa, James, Alan and Dan were all there for the duration of the night. I had a great time, laughed myself hoarse (still am somewhat, the next day).

My only regret is that I didn't exercise better judgement when we went out to Red Robin for a late dinner. I got the fish fry (greasy breaded fish, yum!) and had a Dr. Pepper with the meal. Between the heavy food and the excess caffeine, I was up a good chunk of the night. As Jean said, "you could have gotten away with that when you were 20..."

Tom is trying to talk Alan into going to a Saturday matinee of Wicked in September. I envy them. I love the musicals, and I'm tickled with this revisionist story of the Wicked Witch of the West. But Jean works Saturdays, so I'll have to be content with a trip report.

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:00 PM | Comments (4)

June 14, 2006

Geek Cred

The Nintendo DS Lite came out on Sunday, I went to work on Sunday, work is a two minute drive from Fry's Electronics... Can you see where I'm heading here?

I thought about waiting until there were more color choices than frost white, but I don't really care, it goes with my ratty old iPod. I already had Resident Evil: Deadly Silence. I bought The Age of Empires: Age of Kings and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time to round things out.

In time I plan to buy a few more offbeat choices, like Electroplankton, Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (already a collector's item, it seems).

But first I have to get out from under the huge wodge of tasks piled on me at work. Then I can play...

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

Mr. Freeze

After multiple visits from AAA Heating and Cooling, each to engage in a slightly more aggressive treatment of our central air conditioning, it finally became clear that it would cost more to fix the poor beast than to replace it. So tomorrow, Mr. Freeze comes to visit. The unit weighs a ton or so, so it will take a couple days to install. Of course, it's pretty cool right now, but I've spent a few rather uncomfortable muggy nights waiting for this day...

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

I Think That I Shall Never See

A tree as pretty as Jean! And yet, she pines for this tree, boughing before it's majesty. Anyway, she wants to plant one in our yard.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2006

Musical Acquisitions

It's been awhile since I bought a new album or song. About a week ago I bought one that's been getting mostly positive feedback on the weblogs I make the rounds of, and I'm pretty happy with it:

Saint Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley

I also bought a single song by another group I've never listened to before, Architecture in Helsinki. The song was Do the Whirlwind. Very pop, kicky kinda tune.

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2006

Senate Restaurant Bean Soup

I should just rename this the Bean Soup Weblog. I got around, at Jean's request, to making the famous Senate Restaurant Bean Soup, made with small naval beans and ham shanks instead of hamhocks. It tastes quite good, but I still prefer the Black Bean Soup we prepared earlier. Not that this soup is not good. It's great. The black bean soup is just so much better!

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

School Musical

This time the banner image is from a few weeks ago. Renee's school put on their annual parent trap, er, musical performance, and I attended with camera. As always, my lenses were not really bright enough to stop the action, but I got a few that will give you the idea. Starting with Renee en regalia, marching toward the stage.

As I get around to it, I'll post the handful of salvageable images to my Flickr account. Keep watching the skies!

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)