Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween!

Ahh, one of my favorite holidays is finally here! Halloween, when ghosts and goblins lurk behind knarled trees and mist lingers close to the ground. Jack-o-lanterns light their eerie orange glow while children traipse around in costumes searching for candy.

The strangeness of this cold autumn night has inspired my imagination for as long as I can remember. It's quite a nice break from the normal hunky-dory daily life.

Be sure to check out today. They have lots of neat Halloween treats for you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Burnination Part 3

Thanks to all of you for sending your best wishes. I'm glad that all of your homes are safe as well. Right now, things look much better for Chatsworth. The fire has turned away and is headed north-eastward towards Stevenson Ranch which is unfortunate for them, but good for us.

I just have to give thanks to all those firefighters who took a fire that was going full bore towards Chatsworth and skirted it entirely around the border without a single home lost. If you've ever seen the mountainous, brush-covered terrain, you'd be as amazed as I am now that they could accomplish such a feat.

Anyways, hopefully this will be the last of the fire updates. If not, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Burnination Part 2

Alright, so my parents single-handedly got everything packed and ready to go at a moment's notice. After I checked on them twice (I think they were getting sick of my phone calls), I told them just to call me if they were forced to evacuate. That was quite a few hours ago and I haven't heard from them since then, so I'll take it as a good sign.

What's really cool is -- get this -- an Evacuation Plan ACTUALLY WORKS. Go home and make one for yourself right now. My mom was telling me how she just busted out the list we made 10 years ago, went down and checked off all the items, and bam, she was done. No stressing, no cursing, and no forgetting important things (unlike me flipping out over here in NorCal).

Being paranoid, I asked if all our neighbors had non-shingle roofs (our neighborhood had all shingle roofs before... total stupidity). Otherwise I was going to make my parents go over to their houses and water their roofs down for them.

So good news is I still have a house and my parents can still stay in it despite not being able to see anything outside. Air conditioners apparently filter interior air better than anyone would've hoped. Bad news is they're probably not out of the woods yet. Plus, my poor favorite Oak Tree out in the hills is probably not doing so well. But we'll see. Hope all is well with your families and homes.


Okay, I just got the phone call I did NOT want to receive. I now have 20 minutes to choose what of my past life I would like to save and what I will leave behind to the inferno that is approaching my house in Chatsworth. Then my dad will call back to get the list, he'll pack everything in his minivan along with our other important stuff, and then they will water everything down and then leave. At that point, it's up to the heavens, or the weather, or the quantum uncertainty whether I see the rest of my stuff, along with my house, when I return Home this Thanksgiving.

The nice thing about it is, last time we didn't even have 20 minutes, so this could be considered a gift. Also, me being me, I've already been through this list several times in my head "just in case". The previous fires and earthquakes helped motivate me as well.

One thing that I'm also concerned about is how they're going to get the hundreds of horses out of Chatsworth. There is an organization set up just in case they need to be evacuated, but this is a pretty huge evacuation. Where do you get that many trailers from? Where do you put all the horses??

Anyways, so now I'm just waiting for the next call that will ask me what part of the past I'd like to keep. And that will be that. Wish us all luck.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Kill Bill

will readily admit that I thought this movie was a joke from the looks of the title. Boy was I wrong. If you haven't seen this movie, GO AND SEE IT. There are so many great elements to this movie, I can't even begin to describe them all.

At it's very heart is Quentin Tarantino's take on a Hong Kong action flick. The story is told with such zealous childish glee that you can't help but find it endearing despite the incredibly graphic violence and gore. It's a parody of almost every Hong Kong Kung-Fu movie I've ever seen and them some. There are also some very distinct anime elements to it as well.

I couldn't stop laughing the whole time because even when the movie wasn't try to be funny, it was funny anyway because of the ridiculously excessive blood and gore. The characters themselves only add to the "festive" atmosphere and are so extreme that they become cartoon-like and two-dimensional, which in this case is a good thing.

Anyways, very cool movie. Just go see it because it's really pointless for me to sit here and expound the sheer AWESOMENESS of it.

Another really AWESOME movie is Battle Royale. I'll save that for another day. If you're curious and want to see it (maybe because Chiaki Kuriyama (Gogo) is in it), make sure you won't need a good night's rest that particular day. Seriously, it's totally crazy-go-nuts.


Because I don't have a quote section on my website and because quote sections tend to grow like weeds, I'm going to post my friend, Ed's, quote about Smallville right here. It, impressively, summarizes the entire show in one sentence:

"Smallville is a bad show, but it has pretty people... so I watch it anyway."

I don't think Smallville is that terrible, but it is on the WB in the post Buffy-nervous-breakdown era (in other words, SUCKS) so yeah, pretty people...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Joe Schmo

Reality shows. I hated them for several reasons. First of all, TV is a break from my everyday life; reality TV only adds the drama and stress of others to my own, as if I didn't already have enough of those things myself. Secondly, reality TV brings out the worst in people. The entertainment is completely negative consisting mainly of cruelty, malice, and selfishness and does nothing to showcase the better side of being human.

I was beginning to lose hope when the Joe Schmo show came along. The Joe Schmo show is absolutely ingenious. They have basically created the first real Truman Show. And most importantly, just like Harry Truman, our protagonist, Matt Gould a.k.a. Joe Schmo really shines as a good person, someone we find likable and care about.

The gist of the show is that Matt thinks he is a contestant on a reality TV show called Lap of Luxury. He is placed in a house with nine other contestants for a week. They have immunity challenges (usually involving doing things with strippers) and vote each other off the show like in Survivor. What "Joe don't know" is that the nine other contestants are actually actors following a script. The characters they play are hilarious, ranging from "The Rich Bitch" and "The Hutch" to "The Gay Guy" and "The Buddy". They mercilessly entangle Joe Schmo in love triangles (one involving the host of the game) and drama, but also reward him with friendships and even loyalty.

In one episode, Joe Schmo and "The Virgin" (a buxom blond) are handcuffed together in the pool, he in swim trunks and she in a tiny bikini. Then, unexpectedly, "The Virgin's" boyfriend walks into the yard on a surprise visit playing a guitar and singing a serenade. This naive, straight-laced, conservative young man is appalled to find his attractive, blond, half-naked girlfriend chained to another man. He asks her why she is chained to another man and is dressed "slutty." Joe Schmo is dragged along with her throughout the house as she argues with her boyfriend and absolute hilarity ensues. Joe respectfully turns his back to the two the whole time despite the fact that he has a crush on her. In the end, the host of the show tries to make a move on her but Joe Schmo sticks up for her. "The Virgin" and the host end up in a bedroom together anyway.

What really makes the show is Joe Schmo himself. In every situation, he stands up for the little guy and is courteous no matter what the abuse he receives. He treats everyone fairly and well, keeps his word, and is loyal until the very last. He is the epitome of what a truly good guy is, and watching him be such a good and noble person makes me feel good knowing that people like him exist. I find myself rooting for him to beat the system because he deserves to.

Which brings me to my last point. I would find it absolutely hilarious if we found out at the last episode that Joe Schmo was an actor too and we were the ones being fooled. If at least, they purposely edited the show this way to make him even more likable. After all, he's almost too good a person to be true, right?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Rush Limbaugh

In case you haven't heard, our favorite radio host has checked himself into drug rehab. Apparently, he became addicted to pain killers that he was taking for legitimate reasons and began abusing them.

I suppose, as another fellow human being, I should be feeling extremely sorry for him, but I think Karma dictates that I do otherwise. I find it absolutely HILARIOUS that he's in drug rehab and hope that everyone, especially his regular listeners, takes a good look at him and learns a thing or two.

Some of his ultra-conservative supporters would probably argue that it wasn't his fault that he was addicted. For once, I agree with them. They are 100 percent correct. And I wouldn't at all be surprised if at some point in Rush's illustrious and sensationalist career, he suggested all drug abusers should go to hell (and/or jail). So there's poetic justice for you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Recall Election

Okay, so I've already voted but I still want to hear what your thoughts are.

I must admit I'm slightly disgusted with myself, but I think we gotta give Arnold a try. The Republicans should enjoy this Democrat's vote because they aren't likely to get another one from me anytime soon (screw Bush).

I basically decided to vote what I really want and trust that the majority of Californians are smart and will choose the Right Thing even if it's not what I voted for. This is a big step for me because I usually think that the electorate, as a whole (including myself), are undereducated, undermotivated, and no better than highschoolers voting for student council president. However, having been surrounded by very intelligent people for many years now, I feel there is a decent chance that I am mistaken and that our state is in good hands after all. Well, we shall see. In the end, the governor is but a cog in the wheel.