On The Move

It’s been a heck of a week, and I haven’t had much opportunity to post. Let’s see if I can catch up a bit.

As of Wednesday evening, Starr and I began sleeping at the new house. This was slightly impeded by the fact that our bed hadn’t been moved yet, and Starr’s parents had returned for some of their stuff, so we had to share a twin bed in a guest bedroom. Note: no matter how cuddly the other person is, tucking two people into a twin bed gets old quickly.

I’m now getting up at 5:30 every morning to get out of the house by 6:30. My efficiency’s improved, as it was taking me up to 90 minutes to get showered, dressed, and moving, but it means I have exactly enough coherence to drive safely and not a bit more. The commute’s indeed an hour; thank goodness for podcasts.

Each day last week, I stopped by the apartment on the way home to grab some more stuff. Slowly, all the vital necessities of life have been put in place at the house, such as transforming Macross toys and Lensman paperbacks. By this weekend, I expect to have the silly stuff moved like cooking gear and clean underwear. (Okay, I *am* kidding about the underwear; that was high-priority.)

Starr’s parents left on Friday – or was it Thursday? – but returned once more on Saturday for more stuff, and so we could take her little sister to Nekocon. We only stayed for a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening; I had no idea that the con was so HUGE. 3,000 people were claimed in one press release, and it sure looked like it. I could not believe the number and variety of hall costumes! (Of course, I forgot a camera.) Starr dressed as a loligoth, while her sister wore an InuYasha costume. Many pictures of them were taken, but I have seen none posted; me, I was grumpy that morning, and didn’t wear a costume. By the end of the evening I regretted the decision, but oh well.

Tuesday, I had the day off, and I headed back over to the apartment to collect more stuff. Our downstairs neighbors are both military, and were also home; when they found out what I was up to, they instantly volunteered their two pickups, and pitched in on the packing. Thanks to them, we’re about 70% done with the move, and should be able to finish this weekend; I had reason to appreciate our veterans even more that day! They were awesome folks.

We’re switching the house from Verizon to Cox for our internet and phone, and were surprised to learn the the cable junction box is across the street. Shortly after we learned this, we learned that the underground line to our house is bad, and they’ll have to bore a new conduit for us this week. The cable, phone, and Internet at the apartment was disabled on Wednesday, so communications have been impaired. Right now my cell phone and work Internet are my main connections to the world.

Midori has been introduced to Tigger and Precious, two cats we’re inheriting from Starr’s parents. They seem to be more amused than anything else by her hissing and posturing, and she seems to be slowly understanding the uselessness of making all the fuss. With any luck, they’ll civilize her a bit.

This Saturday, I hope to have everything out of the apartment that isn’t tucked in my office. Sunday, I’ll pack all the little figures and toys and books and such I have on display in my office, and move that over, and at that point the actual move should be about done. We can then spend a week or so cleaning up the place nice before we hand over the keys.

Then… maybe… perhaps… a rest. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable reward!

Protected: Seven Interests Meme

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At the Movies

I am turning Starr into a Hayao Miyazaki fan, getting her attention with “The Castle of Cagliostro”, cheering her on a bleh evening with “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, and charming her last night with “My Neighbor Totoro”. After “Nausicaa” and “Spirited Away”, though, I’ll be all out and have to pick up some more sometime.

Oddly enough, by coincidence she’d been reading up on Shinto traditions yesterday afternoon, and recognized much of them in the movie – more than I! I foresee a Catbus plush in our future.

Also, over the weekend I finally saw the “Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” (Rowr.) An intentionally bad 50s-style SF movie, this flick is awesome if the viewer’s got the right sense of humor. The associated drinking game required drinks on the words “science”, “meteor”, “atmospherium”, “alien”, “mutant”, and “skeleton”. I didn’t participate, mainly because I don’t drink, but also because I’d have ended up blasted out of my mind. Why do people need to pretend to be forced to drink alcohol?

The other weekend movie was “Dorkness Rising“. I really loved it, and am tempted to buy a copy; good script, nice production values for a low-budget film, and an utterly believable – if silly – look at the GM-player dynamic in tabletop RPGs. Additionally, much of the scenes ‘within the game’ are absolutely hilarious. Really, if you game and you happen to see this on the video schedule at a con, make time to see it.

I will be 40 years old on November 15th. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m still reminding myself multiple times per day to act like a grownup. I’ve taken responsibility for a lot of things in life, and willingly so; I want the perks of adulthood. But it means there’s a long list these days of stuff that I can’t wait for someone else to take care of for me, and after all these years I’m still learning many of the tricks of handling a grownup’s duties.

On the other hand, I am surrounded every day by people who aren’t giving that half the effort I am, so I suppose there’s hope. 🙂

Protected: I look less like Captain Harlock every year.

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“I’ve found interesting correspondences in your DNA.”

The other day, I finally broke out my subtitled, un-cut copy of My Youth In Arcadia. I’ve owned the cut, dubbed release for a long time, to the point that I know the script pretty well, and I looked forward to seeing what had been removed from the original.

I only made it to the end of the World War II sequence, but I was still pretty surprised. While this version is clearly a slightly better translation, so far the only new material I’ve seen is the World War I-era prologue. Plot points that I’d assumed would be better explained in an uncut version remain murky.

Of course, this is a common condition with anime films, which have a habit of stringing together cool sequences with a minimum of narrative linkage, and letting the viewers fill in the gaps from their own imaginations. I’m not saying that it’s an invalid technique – there are some American SF / Fantasy movies that would have been better had they explained less – but I was hoping for more.

And They’ll Monitor His Mind

I really want to sit and watch some good DVDs, preferably with company as I hate watching movies alone. I wonder if it’s worth it to buy an upconverting DVD player at some point; we’re using the PS2 at the moment.

The Aviator and Catch Me If You Can are on my list. I’ve seen them before, but they are cool enough to make me appreciate Leo as an actor, and Starr’s never seen either. The uncut, re-dubbed My Youth In Arcadia is on the list, as is the recent CGI Appleseed. (Is there an uncut, properly dubbed Galaxy Express 999 available? I’d like to find a good version of that too.)

Also sitting unwatched on my shelf: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Heroic Trio, about which I endlessly badgered kittykatya for a copy; and the new Transformers movie, which may not be fanservice perfection, but at least it’s got the right Optimus Prime voice.

We won’t even talk about the movies in theaters. Everyone’s raving about Iron Man, yes I intend to see Speed Racer despite the reviewer bashing, and ditto Indy 4.

I can’t even blame World of Warcraft for this. I enjoy the game enormously, but go weeks without touching it sometimes.

Mt. Fuji comes to Mohammed

Just found out that Anime Mid-Atlantic is being held right in my backyard next month.

Anyone on my Friends List planning to go? Not much fun going to a con unless I can hang with some cool people. Besides, I haven’t been to an anime con in years and years – may need someone to show me the ropes!

Killing the Radio Star

Okay, I think I’m totally turning into a Daft Punk fan. I saw this video on someone’s blog, and now the tune is firmly lodged in my head.

Harder Better Faster Stronger

Misty Technicolor Memories

It seems that actor Chris Pine is up for the part of Captain James Kirk in the upcoming Trek movie. Among other named participants are Zoe Saldana as Uhura, and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Looking pretty good, so far.

“You’ve wrecked my childhood!” is a phrase oft heard on the Internet, when the new remake of a favorite property comes along. Most recently, some Transformers fans screamed it to anyone who would listen. I can’t help but think that these people show a disappointing level of perspective; who over the age of 20 hasn’t picked up an old book, or the DVD of an old movie, and discovered that it just doesn’t speak to them the way it did all those years ago?

I recently acquired the first season of “Battle of the Planets“: an anime import about a team of bird-costumed super-ninjas in a rocket-jet fighting a high-tech criminal syndicate. It suffered from translation; the translators were forced to make massive cuts of violence and teenage-level plot points while adding in footage of a cute robot and space travel. Imagine that someone had told you that, for Freedonian broadcast, classic Trek had to be cut to 30 minutes per episode, never leave Earth’s solar system, and ditch the pointy-ear guy.

I loved “Battle of the Planets” when I was 8. I made paper airplane versions of the hero’s razor-edged jet boomerang, tinfoil helmets, and beach towel capes. Finally seeing it again all these years later was fun, but I couldn’t help but admit that I was no longer able to appreciate it the way I once could, and that was okay. The upcoming live-action movie will probably be a tiny bit more mature; and I won’t complain at all about all the things they got “wrong”.

Or at least not very much.

Robotech Live-Action?

On the “Robotech” movie Tobey Maguire’s producing:

I would love to see a good Robotech movie. I don’t even mind if Maguire plays Rick Hunter – they could do worse.

Last I heard the property was in Licensing Rights Hell. I will believe this is actually in production when reliable on-set reports start filtering out.

I’m not worried about whether the script will be more faithful to Robotech or Macross. When the studio suits are done with it, it will more resemble the Go-Bots. “Geez, you idiot fanboys, it’s just a cartoon.” Otaku who thought that Peter Jackson was spawn of Satan will be utterly enraged, burning down message boards across the ‘Tubes.

Minmei will no longer be Chinese, or ethnic in any way. (Claudia Grant, either.) She will be played by some losing American Idol finalist who will produce a soundtrack album of mildly grating, forgettable songs; this will put her ahead of poor Reba West but still behind Mari Iijima.

The iconic VF-1 Valkyrie, one of the most believable and good-looking transforming mecha in anime history, will no longer strongly resemble an F-14 Tomcat; but be based off of an F-22 Raptor or some Wing Commander refugee, whose transformation sequence only works if you look at something else for several seconds in the middle. (“Hey, where’d Optimus Prime’s trailer go, anyway?”) The SDF-1 Macross will probably fare little better.

Finally, I’m sure I’ll see it at least twice and buy the DVD.

So who would you cast for the main characters? (I just had this mental picture of The Rock as Breetai, which horrified me initially, but is slowly growing on me.)

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