One Crazy Week (with Movies!)

So work deadlines have been looming this past week.  Tomorrow is the final filing date for E-rate funding, so I’ve been neck deep in crossing t’s and dotting i’s, making sure Uncle Sam doesn’t come after me with a big stick because I didn’t report something just quite right.  Fundamentally, I really appreciate the E-rate program, in that it enables schools the like the one I work at to integrate and acquire hardware and networking equipment that there is no way we could afford otherwise, or at the scale we need.  On the other hand, I loathe paperwork.  And yet my life the past few weeks has been paperwork.

I have become the thing I hate.  *existential moment*

Okay, now that the moment has passed…

To survive this onslaught of tree slaughter, I’ve been heading out with the two other resident knuckleheads for some movie watching.

Last weekend was John Carter, and just this last Saturday we went and saw Arrietty.

Both movies were good, but not great.  John Carter trips over itself in some fundamental ways, and I personally had a hard time connecting with any of the characters or caring what happened.  I actually found the character of John Carter far more interesting before he ever arrived at Barsoom.  Woola was amusing, at least.  You can truly see a bit of the Pixar magic shine through when it comes to the eager-to-please xenodog.  Otherwise, it is competent sci-fi, with a storied pedigree… and for that reason alone I support it.

Arrietty also has an excellent pedigree, but I would say the more disappointing of the two movies.  It truly felt like Studio Ghibli was restrained when making Arrietty, and the depth and amazing Japanese charm and craziness I have come to love about their movies just wasn’t there.  I suppose that’s somewhat to be expected, given the already heavily adapted source material of The Borrowers, but I was hoping for something more.  Don’t get me wrong, the animation and care taken into each scene is evident throughout.  It is a truly beautiful movie.  The most scathing criticism I can level at it, in all honesty, is that it felt “safe”.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled lately by watching Mushi-shi.  (Which I’ve now finished and highly recommend.)

What’s next?  Well… Avengers is coming.  That should be sufficiently crazy, and I’ve made promises to one of my former bosses that we’d go see it together.  I am also strangely drawn to the Michael Bayesque trainwreck that will be Battleship.  I’m not sure why, exactly.

Also Frankenweenie and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter both tickle my unconventional side.

More recently, 21 Jump Street has been receiving good buzz… but I’m just not convinced.  Maybe if Johnny Depp has a cameo in it, I could be convinced to watch it.

At any rate, it should be an interesting year for movies.  Which is great, because I’ll need something to stave off all this work.

Return of the Blog

…or: How Adam Learned How To Stop Worrying and Love the Inane

So I have seriously neglected this place. If you find this… seriously, you flatter me for keeping me in the corners of your mind for so long. It’s kind of creepy actually. I’d say you’re stalking me, but honestly I haven’t given you much to go on these past few years.

Let me attempt to fix that.

And, if I am talking to myself…

Hey, me. How the hell are you?

Let’s catch up on what we’ve been up to.

The past year has been full of changes. It’s my second year as Tech Director for a local school… and the job would be great if I didn’t feel like I was constantly a month behind. The projects just seem to pile up and I find myself spending more time working on the day to day then I am able to progress any major changes I’d like to see happen. Honestly though it’s a great place to work. The staff is always understanding and grateful for our expertise and help. I have another school year there before I decide wether I stay another year or not. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do quite yet.

I have my own place again. It’s been a welcome change, and I enjoy having my on space again. I will say that it’s also been an excuse to be unsociable and just stay at home… Which is something I want o change this year. My goal s to at east get out on the weekends… wether it’s to explore the local flavor, or to get over to Seattle, which is much closer now. With any luck I can share those experiences here.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual. I still love my music, movies, games and media. Speaking of which, I figured I’d share what I’ve been watching recently.


Mushi-shi is hard to categorize. “Japanese folk-lore retelling with undertones of horror” would probably be closest. The episodes so far stand by themselves, which makes it a fantastic anime to watch in short bursts. I’ve been watching an episode or two when I get home, just after catching up on The Daily Show.

The episodes are steeped with Japanese folk-lore… from forest gods to possessed ink stones. And each episode tells a beautiful, if at times deeply disturbing or distressing story. The episode I just watched, for example, relays the story of a wife that is possessed by a mushi (the titular creatures the stories revolve around) that devours her memories. Her husband has been long missing, and the only reason she remembers him is because of the rituals she keeps every day to keep his memory alive. The episode does not have the happiest ending… most of them don’t. But it is poignant… and unsettling in a way that makes you introspective.

So yes… Mushi-shi. I recommend it.

And hey… You should update your blog more, Adam.

I mean, seriously.

Farscape and slack.

I finished watching the second season of Farscape tonight. And was fairly impressed. The first half of the season started out pretty slow, with a few rather predictable, plodding, uninteresting episodes here and there. But the second half grew progressively better… and the season finale was downright good. I chalk it up to that whole “trying to secure finances for the next season” thing. Whatever the reason, it was appreciated. And I’ve been able to nominate Scorpius as my new favorite villian.

Of course, now I get to begin watching season three.

In an attempt to break up the Farscape-fest a little bit, I’ve decided to insert a little anime here and there. For season three, I’ll also be watching a little Witch Hunter Robin, a show that fascinated me when it aired on Cartoon Network not too long ago, but something I was never able to catch all the episodes of.

In other news, things pretty much suck. I am unimpressed with my lack of ability to set and persue goals, especially when I know I am fully capable of doing so. I’m starting to apall even myself with my level of slack.

I’m just realizing once more that I need to kick myself in the ass. Perhaps with some strange Rube Goldbergian device.

I’ll think of something.

Missing In Anime

“If I must be lonely, I think I’d rather be alone.”

Anyone that truly knows me knows that if I’ve been listening to Stabbing Westward, something must be very, very wrong.

And yet, that little corner of my brain says that everything is actually okay.

I’m just being myself.

But what do you do when you’re not happy with yourself anymore?

This is that circular logic that always gets me into heaps and heaps of trouble.

The really amusing thing, though, is that I was given a glimpse of insight the other day. A glimpse of insight offered up by anime. I was watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

EVA-01Now, I’m disappointed as the next person about the ending of the series. Yes, I can understand and appreciate the artistic aspect of the final two episodes. I’ve watched enough anime to expect it in a way.

But it still doesn’t keep me from wanting a few simple things. Like a big mecha beat down with explosions and stuff. Or maybe… just maybe… an explanation or two about major plot threads that have been the focus of the 20 some odd episodes before the ending.

Presumptuous of myself, I know.

But some small thread of clarity in those last two episodes caused a little introspective on my part.

I hate myself at times, but I am neither more nor less than what I perceive myself to be. Than what I allow myself to be.

I am my own worst enemy, but I am also the only one that can set me free.

And, thankfully, I am not nearly as fucked up as someone that finds validation in driving around a giant biomechanical robot that houses the soul of his dead mother.

I have felt so lost and alone these past few days… these past few weeks. I have a hard time with journals… or with blogs like this… because honestly, I get sick of hearing myself.

Which isn’t good, really… when you have to put up yourself as much as any of us do.

So when a close friend called today… when I had the chance to reach out to someone I care about so much… it felt, in ways, like I allowed myself to feel again. It was just what I needed… and I can’t help but be reassured by a simple, beautiful friendship that I have always cherished.

You know who you are… and I’ve missed you. Just as much, I think, as you’ve missed me. We need to allow ourselves those times to vent, I think.

And… I’m happy.

Genuinely happy.

Something I haven’t felt in a while.

It’s time to put away the Stabbing Westward I think.