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.

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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.