[personal profile] blodeuedd
Instead of sitting around like a useless blob for the rest of the day, I thought I'd write a bit, since I've got a few things to write about that have been piling up.

First off, [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi gave me some words!

If you want to play, request your words and I will find some that remind me of you. Somewhere. And then you have to tell me what they mean to you.

Kender: [Those of you unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons/the Dragonlance series, please refer to this.] After travelling together, [livejournal.com profile] nekonezumi and I decided that I'm the kender to her hobbit. She's the one always on the lookout for suitable breakfast foods, and I'm the one saying, "Let's follow this path to see where it leads! [hours later] Haha, who knew it was up an actual mountain! :D" Something along those lines anyway. I imagine that if I met an actual kender, I'd probably be equal parts irritated and charmed. It must be said that though Tasslehoff Burrfoot is hands down my favourite Dragonlance character, part of what I liked so much about him was how much he changed and grew throughout the series without losing his love of adventure and his ability to see the brighter, funnier side of things.

Adventure: An adventure is something that's never happened to you before. Or, to paraphrase someone else, "An adventure is rather unpleasant when it's happening to you, but it changes you for the better and makes a great story." I don't think adventures should necessarily be unpleasant (though, like everything else, they can be), but I think it's important to keep an open mind about things, even when you're in less than optimal conditions. Large insects, toilet stalls with no doors, being unable to read the local train or bus schedule, eating food that you can't quite identify (but that smells delicious!) -- that's adventure, to me. Even when I'm tired, hungry, sweaty, and I've just landed in a new town, I know there will be new things to see and experience. And let's not forget that small, everyday adventures count: take a new route home from work, try a new flavour of ice cream, wear bright orange shoes even though you've sworn you'd never wear orange.

Holidays: I assume you meant the kind of holidays we celebrate, and not just days off work? ^_^ I like both kinds! But to answer your questions: there doesn't have to be a huge celebration, but I think it's important to have something that people can observe together, even if it's just dressing up in silly costumes. I like happening upon holidays when I travel, because it offers a glimpse into the local culture, but I always feel a little pang in my heart, at the same time: as much fun as I'm having, and as much as there are beautiful things to see, I'm not really part of things, because the occasion doesn't mean anything to me in the way it does to the people celebrating. But that's all right, because I have my own holidays to celebrate with those I love.

Chinese men: Of the few types of traditional masculinity that appeal to me, I have a deep-rooted weak spot for tall Chinese men with broad shoulders and large hands (but no bulky muscles, please!). Guess which type I married! XD;;; I don't know why it is, but watching Chinese Prince of Tennis had me going "OMG hot guys! :D~~~~" in a way I don't think any other show or movie ever has. Plus, Chinese (whichever variety you prefer!) is a sexy, sexy language.

Tray tables: Tray tables are very useful things. Growing up, my parents had a strict "no tv while eating meals" policy, so we never had tray tables to eat off in the living room the way some of my friends did. Then I grew older and started travelling by plane (and long-distance buses that weren't Voyageur/Greyhound) and a whole new world opened up to me. Granted, those types of tray tables tend to get in the way when you're trying to get at something in your bag under the seat in front of you, but they're overall a very useful place for a book, a travel journal, a knitting pattern... And seriously, can we talk about that little round depression for a cup or a bottle? Sheer genius, my friends.

Oh, hey, I think I had this idea that I'd keep up with book and movie reviews this year... Hah. Here are a few, at least.

Yesterday was Pirates Day, as in, Pirates of the Carribean. I went to see the newly released On Stranger Tides yesterday, and then Kimberly and I decided to watch the third one at her place, since I hadn't seen it and she had fallen asleep halfway through it.

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

I'd heard that this entry in the franchise was bad, and it was, but I found it mostly frustrating because it had so much potential that was ruined in a quest for [bad] comedy. For one thing, the main problem I had with the second movie, that Davy Jones and his crew looked comical rather than creepy, was not only just as bad, but it extended to encompass the other pirate nations, which end up just seeming like bad racist caricatures. I mean, come on -- how much more potential for cool can there be than a romanticised version of pirates from different lands? The only one who's important to the plot, i.e. gets more than two lines, is the Singaporean pirate lord (Chow Yun-Fat, who seemed to be having a lot of fun in spite of the general suckiness of his lines). Then there's the northern Chinese lady pirate and her followers; the Africans (I guess they represent the whole continent?!); the Mexicans Spanish (bandoliers and large hats and twirled mustaches and playing cards and shooting their pistols in the air for no reason -- yeah, I groaned); the Turks (they didn't seem as offensive to me, probably because they didn't say as much); the Indians (because it's totally hilarious for the fat guy to have a squeaky voice!); the French (okay, I admit I laughed at their powdered faces, which are actually more or less period-correct -- and as a francophone, and of distant French ancestry, I claim mocking rights); the... I guess Barbossa represents the English?

The main problem with the movie was that a huge chunk of it was talking and exposition, not the action that you'd expect. The plot was kind of silly ("Hey, there's this sea goddess that we have to release..."), though the plot really wasn't the point. The point was Jack Sparrow, and I was suitably entertained by him mincing around in the desert, though he didn't have enough screen time to make the movie more than passable.

It was nice to see Will become sort of a badass, and he and Elizabeth fighting back to back while getting married was an amusing scene, at least.

Final verdict: 5/10

Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

Since Will and Elizabeth got their [sort of] happy end in the third installment, this movie was free to focus on the interesting characters: Jack Sparrow and Barbossa! So this movie is mainly about Jack, which is fine by me. Not only do he and Barbossa get lots of screen time, but there's more historical piracy in the form of Blackbeard (I was a bit sad we didn't get to see him with flaming tapers in his beard and I suspect that the thing about him trapping the ships in bottles may not be based on actual historical fact, but oh, well), and then there's hotness in the form of Angelica. Penélope Cruz >>>>>>>>>> Keira Knightley in hotness, I'm just saying. On the other hand, I cannot help but point out that her underbust corset is not exactly period-appropriate, to my knowledge!

Anyway, the story is pretty straight-forward this time. The race is on to find the Fountain of Youth! Blackbeard wants to find it to be granted a longer life; Barbossa wants to find it to get his ship back from Blackbeard; Jack Sparrow is kind of forced into finding it; the Spanish want to find it to... well, you'll have to watch it to find out. The plot also involves sexy mermaids; plenty of Gibbs (the only one you can count on to keep a level head); trekking through jungles that are supposedly meant to be Carribean (at least, I assume they are) but that look Hawaiian and were, in fact filmed in Hawaii; a buff preacher; Jack Sparrow self-cest (kinda XDDD).

We saw the movie in 3D, and unlike the super lame beginning of the 6th Harry Potter movie, this one was 3D throughout, and it made the fight scenes pretty cool. It was all in the little details. The only annoying thing was, since I was wearing my regular glasses and the 3D ones kept slipping, I had to spend the second half of the movie holding them up.

Oh, and do stay until the end of the credits for the final scene.

All in all, a great deal of fun. 8/10

I meant to sew today... And I did, for all of twenty minutes. It's as though studying Japanese sucks all the energy out of me, and after diligently writing out kanji for nearly an hour and a half this morning, the only thing productive I've been able to do is write this post.

Apparently, the potential embarrassment of getting a lower mark on the JLPT this time 'round isn't enough of an incentive for me to get up early in the mornings. I think my body wants me to hibernate, or something, I find myself fantasizing about sleep all the time. I'm not even getting less sleep than I usually do! :P Like right now, my body is all floppy and wanting to take a nap, but if I do that, I know I won't get to sleep at a decent hour tonight. Double bloh.

And Tabitha is staring at me like, "What's the problem? Now is always a good time to nap."

I also meant to write a Travelpod entry, since I haven't even begun my account of this year's Golden Week trip, but ugh, I don't have the energy. I should at least make myself from supper.

Wow, I'm all kinds of lame today. An early bedtime for me, says I!
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February 2012

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