Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend shenanigans

I saw two utterly disparate but equally fantastic movies this weekend, in the midst of snow and crazy winds and a Christmas tree with suicidal tendencies.
The first we watched together was Kamikaze Girls. It came highly recommended AND decried, which told me I pretty much had to get my hands on it. The people who decried it had nothing worse to say than "it was weird and I couldn't follow it", which in common parlance translates in to "There were obvious tits and explosions".
Not to paint it with so fine a brush, but that did tend to be the crowd that didn't like it, based on their spelling and grammar.
So we popped it in, and I'll admit I was hesitant, dubious and hopeful all at the same time. The different reviews I'd read had mentioned something about motorcycles, embroidery, and gosu-rori dresses. I could not reconcile in my head how all of these were going to come together and not be horrible. Thankfully, they did it for me.
It was very similar to Amelie in how it presented the story, including the shorts that looked like they came from TV to tell side stories. It was irreverant, it made fun of Japanese culture, and it was highly enjoyable. So much so, that I honestly might consider snagging a copy of it for myself to keep around. And I would definitely watch it again.
What was great was that ther ewas no chance to listen to it in English. You got Japanese with subtitles, and that was it. By listening to it that way, you got a feel for the differences in culture and education based on how they were speaking, the inflection versus the body language... ti was subtle, and nothing I think could've been picked up in an English translation.It's one of the reasons I love to watch "Hero" in Mandarin. The intonation, how they carry the language, conveys a lot of the story. The emperor is obviously more pompous and far less noble than his English-voiced counterpart.
Bob admitted he'd hesitated, too, to watch the movie thinking that we would be smote with another August Rush or some equally crappy thing we didn't want to see. But I'm happy to report that he had as much fun watching that as I did.
The other film was the Director's cut of Donnie Darko. I'm told that the original did NOT have the chapters flash up on the screen explaining what was going on, and I can't for the life of me figure out how the hell anybody made sense of the movie without it. Having never seen the original theatrical version, I'll never be able to tell you, either, because I now know the story and I'm ruined when it comes to trying to glean a meaning from a storyline. It was handed to me. Alas.
I don't know what to say about this one. The entire premise of psychosis and time-travel in regards to water and metal and Frank, who is actually already dead, sort of escape me. Especially when the movie STARTS With the end of the anomaly.
Either way, it was enjoyable and I have a feeling if I watched it a second time around that more of it would make sense now that I know what's going on. Also catch more details the first time around that were probably missed. I would watch it again if it came up on cable one weekend.
It snowed Saturday night in to Sunday morning, with lovely big flakes drifting nearly sideways in the driving winds. I snuggled up under the blankets and watched it happen. Sadly, it didn't stay long. There was only a light dusting of it left by the end of the day. I got just enough to make a good sized handful, which I then did NOT through, because I am a good girlfriend and Bob does not actually make a good target as much as he really looks like he might.
I rooted out the crap in my computer, taking out the sound card that was never fully integrated with the machine for some reason, and rolled the sound over to the motherboard. For some odd reason it sounds spectacular now, but that's probably because the drivers never were fully installed for the Diamond Stealth soundcard, so I was getting the bear minimum. I'll leave it like this and keep the sound card around for the next play machine I build. However, upon removing it and fixing the drivers for the onboard sound-card, my video card degraded noticably when trying to run WoW. SO... that did not fix the issue and the only other thing I can think of is replacing the memory at this point, as the error that popped up talked about being stuck in an endless loop waiting for resources to be freed up. I dunno, we'll see what Santa brings me, then I'll get me some new memory and crank my baby up.
In the meantime, the old laptop and the old desktop will be sporting shiny new Ubuntu OSs just as soon as I remember where I stuck the dumb CD.
We also got ourself a Xmas tree this weekend, which has me very excited. It was, unfortunately, just a bit top heavy with a slightly curved trunk. So when we got it fully decorated, it took a header that Bob just barely missed saving it from, and we had to rig it to the wall with hemp twine and a lot of complicated boy scout knots. But it's staying upright!
Another neat thing this weekend, we went to the Victor Cafe' in South Philly. It's a lovely little place where the waiters will stand up about ever 20-30 minutes on the stairs, ring a bell, then announce the aria they're going to sing... then, accompanied either by piano or piped in CD, they sing loudly and beautifully. Most are students at a school in downtown Philly that teaches opera.
On top of beautiful live music, the food there was wonderful, and I would absolutely go back there. But probably in the summer, as parking was a bit nuts. It's a row home directly on the street with no lot.
An amusing side note, we actually did manage to get a parking space about a block away, which was ridiculously close, and it was under the only tree with plum blossoms raging on it in the whole city of Philadelphia. The light pink of the flowers coupled with the snow that was falling were almost surreal in the purple-white glare of the sodium vapor streetlamps. I enjoyed it.
We took a side trip to see Pat's and Geno's, and I must say that the last time I saw that many neon lights on the outside of a building, I was in Vegas and there were strippers being advertised. We could see it from 3 blocks away. Geno's, that is. Pat's was understated with a blue and red lit up near the ordering window. The difference was amusing.
We have sworn to go back there at some point and compare the two, as they are catty-corner to each other on the intersection. Meanwhile, I'm thinking of researching opinions on who's is better and why, as well as what to order when you get to the window, and why.
It'll all be very scientific. And possibly very greasy.

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