Hurricane John

Life in the land of Hurricanes

Monday, May 31, 2004

Now Firefox is the shit
Despite the fact that this isn't my computer I downloaded Mozilla Firefox onto their computer anyway. It's a great browser that is just the essentials and fast. It was perfect for checking my gmail which I was disappointed to find only contained two messages. So sad. But I suggest everyone to download Firefox, ditch Internet Explorer and use the superior.
I don't like Mac
So I've been using a Mac PowerBook at my Uncle's and it just hasn't been working. The internet is down a lot and there's not much I know about how to fix it. And since it's supposed to be easy and simple there is nothing it allows you to do. That explains the lack of posts. And they are using an old explorer, and I would download at least 5.5 but it's not my computer, so I can't log into my gmail and the encoding for this browser is all wrong, there are buttons missing from my blogger screen. It's just not the same.

The Royals game was pretty good, they won 5-2 but yesterday wasn't all that exciting. Going to my cousin's open house was nice and all but so many people and I knew nobody so I just went down to the basement and read. Today I'll probably just veg but tomorrow is museum day. Jazz history and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum so that should be good.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Lewis Black
Actually I saw him Thursday at the Rialto. He was funny as usual and of course he was enraged, I mean it is his Rules of Enragement tour. I can't quite remember if he was as funny as last time and I think it's best if I don't try to compare. He started off with the Super Bowl and how the FCC is crap and how he can't understand why everyone was all upset over a nipple that wasn't even revealed. He of course moved on to politics where there was a lot of banter from the audience. Politics is a very heated topic right now. I think he was funniest when he moved on to this stupid health craze. If you really want to know, ask me about the bran muffin. Hilarious.

I'm in Blue Springs now and only slept 6 hours. I went to be 12 my time but woke up at 6 my time, crazy. Today is a Royals game so I'm pretty excited. They''re playing the Twins so guess who I'm rooting for? That's right, the Diamondbacks, I always root for them. I guess I can fit the Royals in too.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

My life is exciting, me
As David so astutely noticed, I have seen a lot of movies lately. What can I say, its my thing. You may have noticed that I was really just late to post them, saw Troy back on the 14th. I've seen two more since the last post so I got to get those up. I still watch the Diamondbacks a lot. They disappointing me at the moment but I stand by them, the hopeless optimist. I manage to read a chapter or two in a book every night and get too much sleep I guess. I get 8 plus hours each night yet feel tired and grumpy every morning. I'm getting exercise everyday in the form of swimming but I'm still so tired. So I guess my life isn't that exciting to everyone out there but it's what I like doing, I enjoy it, and it's exciting to me. My life should perk up over the Memorial day weekend as I travel to Kansas City so stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Metropolis (1927)
Director: Fritz Lang
Screenplay: Fritz Lang with Thea von Harbou (novel)
Starring: Alfred Abel, Brigitte Heim, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gustav Fröhlich

The restoration of Metropolis is wonderful, at least the DVD version that I saw produced by Kino Video. The Murnau Foundation looks to have performed a miracle with this restoration. This influential silent film was all but lost and needed to be restored from pieces. I had this suggested from numerous sources but I often heard that there is no version does it justice. This is probably as close as it comes. Such excellent use of imagery and detail. Being of the Science Fiction genre, the special effects were good and the score went along with it well. I'm not much for social commentary so I won't say much on the portrayal of worker and rich classes, but there has been much written on the importance of this film and its restoration. I do wish I could see it in its original form as it was intended but for now I just recommend it to everyone, a silent film that anyone can enjoy.

Watched: 5/23/04
All the President's Men (1976)
Director: Alan J Pakula
Screenplay: William Goldman adapted from Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward (book)
Starring: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman
Oscars: Supporting Actor (Jason Robards), Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Sound
Nominations: Best Picture, Directing, Supporting Actress (Jane Alexander), Film Editing
AFI's 100 Years of Thrills List: 57

All the President's Men is what I would call a paper thriller. No real action, just dialogue and the chase and excitement following the paper trail. It is based on the true story of two reporters, the two that wrote the book, and follows them as they try to uncover the Watergate scandal. Very political and I unfortunately didn't get much out of that. I was more interested in seeing a newspaper deal with a touchy subject and how they have to get all the sources and confirmation. Unfortunately there wasn't any courtroom drama and there wasn't any real conclusion. It was kind of just hung in the middle.

Watched: 5/23/04
Love Actually (2003)
Director: Richard Curtis
Screenplay: Richard Curtis
Starring: Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Kiera Knightly, Colin Firth

I tried and only counted nine of the supposed ten love story's that Love Actually is supposed to be a melding of. I started the move around 11:00 PM and was worried about the 135 minute length but the movie was very captivating and any time I thought I would doze off, I didn't. Mixing all these stories up kept the pace always moving but was still light, never cull, never exhausting. Sometimes British humour just makes sense. No real performances that stood out except for one child actor, yet there were some unnecessary hot girl cameos like Denise Richards, the quirky Shannon Elizabeth and the super sexy Elisha Cuthbert. Nah, then again, they are hot. I felt sappy watching it alone. Sure it was good, but it makes such a great date movie I wish I had a girl by my side to watch it with me. How sorry is that?

Watched: 5/19/04
Blue Velvet (1986)
Director: David Lynch
Screenplay: David Lynch
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Oscar Nomination: Directing
AFI's 100 Years of Thrills List: 96

This is one dark film. A story of a young college man who gets caught up in a little mystery involving murder, kidnapping, sex, and a club singer who just can't stop singing the song Blue Velvet. Lynch is very Hitchcockian at times with the way he uses lighting and shadows to build suspense. He also uses a lot of symbolic imagery and sounds to really push the envelope. Everything is constantly pulling at the emotions of both the actors and viewers. I would say that all actors were awesome considering how demanding every role was, Especially Isabella Rossellini's role. The film had my attention fully captured but I won't rush to see it again. I started it late but never once drifted off. I only recommend it to those who like different and aren't afraid to be disturbed.

Watched: 5/17/04

Monday, May 24, 2004

Troy (2004)
Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Screenplay:David Benioff adapted from Homer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Peter O'Toole

I really liked it but if there were to be a tagline for Troy, it should be "The unofficial Braveheart reunion." There are so many actors from Braveheart in this movie that I kept saying "Hey, he looks familiar. He's from Braveheart! So he." Now Troy isn't as epic or cinematic but an overall enjoyable moviegoing experience. Besides some chronological issues and some side stories, it stayed pretty true to Homer's Iliad, I think. It has been a while since I read it. As I said before, it isn't exactly cinematic but the battles and action are true to form. One thing that stands out is the portrayal of the Greeks as the bad guys, and they are the winners. When reading, I remember hating Hector but he was cool and heroic here. But Paris was still the pansy I remember. I also really like Sean Bean as Odysseus and perhaps they can make that into a motion picture, I liked the TV "Odyssey." I just wish there was more portrayal of the Gods, but this was more concerned with how it would look as if it were genuine history. I think it worked.

Watched: 5/14/04
Take the Money and Run (1969)
Director: Woody Allen
Screenplay: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Janet Margolin
AFI's 100 Years of Laughs List: 66

This definately belongs on that list. Take the Money and Run is Woody's first original film that he directed. It is very funny that even the casual moviegoer can enjoy it. It is told in his unique documentary, personal narrative flashback style that can only be described as a Woody Allen film. I have seen lots of his later films and I can see how this set the tone for his unmistakable style. The story is basically the telling of a very unsuccessful thief that has always lived with crime. There are lots of great moments where he just mocks and creates a situation that would never exist, but Allen makes it believable both in writing and even his neurotic acting. Here are some examples: Marching with a cello where he needs to run ahead, set down the chair, play a chord, and then get up and drag the chair again just trying to keep up. Or trying to rob a bank with a note he hands to the teller but it was unsuccessful because he misspelled "gun" with "gub."

Watched: 5/13/04

Friday, May 21, 2004

Blast from the past
Wow Tiffany is back bloggin' it. She's near the top of my list to the left because I actually know her. She's an old friend of mine ( I met through Dave of course) and has spent the last year or so fighting heroically for our country in Iraq and now she's back in the states and her hometown Globe. I'm glad she's made it back safely and can get back to that "normal" life. She's actually the first I knew to have a blog and it looks like she managed to get all her old posts on to it. So if you have the time, read them all, lot's of great stories that should prove interesting.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Mr. Sparkle
The other night my sister gave me my graduation present. Very Cool. My friend Mike also gave me a book. I like getting gifts, now time for one from my parents. Yes that's right nothing from them yet. But I'll probably get a laptop with the money from my Grandma. Suggestions?
Useless Info
I just wanted to put in a few more links about yesterdays feat as the Diamondbacks beat the Braves again tonight, 6-4 in 11. I love the Useless Info pieces by Jayson Stark because I'm big sucker for stats and crazy, bizarre, removed trivia. Here's a piece on other great feats.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Holy shit he did it!
27 up, 27 down. Unbelievable! Randy Johnson at the age of 40 now joins a very short and elite list. Today he pitched a perfect game and the oldest to do so. Only 17 times overall and 15 in the modern era and he is only the fifth national leaguer to do it. He struck out 13 in the process and completely dominated the Atlanta Braves just one day after they struck out 18 times to Ben Sheets of the Brewers. He has already secured his place in the hall of fame he continues to shine and add to his list of prestigious accomplishments as his stature grows.

I watched the game and began taping it in the 6th. I could just feel it. Tomorrow I'll get the whole thing on a replay. The Diamondbacks are my team and while I wasn't tearful like I was after the World Series win, I was shaking with nervous joy. I really freaked my roommate out. I kept pacing around and then I started breathing loudly and then I got shivers all over and in the ninth I was shaking. I had my phone ready to call Brian and as soon as he picked it up we both shouting and yelling. It was awesome and was such a great afternoon and the perfect way to start the Summer of John.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Summer of John
Yes, yes I know, it's been ages since anything has been posted. As was apparent, I barely posted the last one. But I finished up okay and had an excellent graduation with my family in town. We had a great lunch at the City Grill where I demanded the filet mignon even though it wasn't on the lunch menu. I also want to add that Arizona's commencement ceremony is a blast. We know how to party and have fun throwing tortillas all over the place. My only disappointment was that my bubble gun didn't work. There goes a couple dollars down the drain.

So what is the Summer of John you ask? Only the greatest thing ever. Well other than a week or so till the end of May I won't be working. Lots of people ask, "Well then what are you going to do? Won't you be bored?" My response, HELL NO. I've already had a weekend and done a ton. Last Thursday I went to Tempe to see Brian and Megan's graduation for ASU. My aunt also received her Doctorate in Music. Friday morning I saw the first showing of Troy and then raced down to Tucson to meet with a professor. Met the fam for dinner that night and took my younger sister to meet my friends and say goodbye before they left the next day. Saturday was all graduation and then lunch. Later I played a little Crystal Chronicles with Mike, went to a party hosted by one of my fellow Optics graduates and then went out to play fooz with Dave. Whew. Sunday I wound down a bit to do some highly neglected laundry but then ended up going to the UA baseball game with Mike where they promptly pounded out 19 runs narrowly defeating Stanford by one in a timely 4:11 9-inning game. Man I love baseball. By the way Stanford is second in the nation. Monday I went back to work but caught the afternoon game where UA beat Stanford again 11-2 to win the series and then got a sunburn. In the meanwhile I've seen quite a few new movies since I stopped by the Tempe library while I was up there and there will be a lot more to come.

But that was last week, what about the Summer of John?. I'll spend most of my time watching movies and finishing the AFI lists. I'm only 23 away from finishing the greatest all-time list. I also have a lot of books to read and get caught up on. I'll of course set out time to watch D'Backs games and The Daily show as well as take in a few games at the ballpark. Sidewinders has Thirsty Thursdays where all drinks including beer are a buck. I also plan to play a few video games. But this is only when I'm home. I have several trips planned. In a couple of weeks I'm going to Kansas City and then in July I'm off to France. I of course have the wedding July 3rd and the bachelor party to sin city. I'm also going to fit in a trip to see Dave in Cali and to go surfing. Since I plan to move to Florida in August, I also need to find an apartment. So I have plenty to do. I think I'm entitled to a little R&R for graduating. I don't need a job to keep me busy and I have a little funds to get by. Call apartment hunting my job. I'm selling my life away to Grad school for the next 5 to 7 years and this may be my last summer,...

PS Bonus points to the first to point what Summer of John is a reference to.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

What an adventure!
First of all I must say that these past three days have been hell. And it all began with Sunday.

It took me three and a half hours to get home, that is Tempe to Tucson. Normally the trip would take just an hour and a half or less. You may think gee that's not much longer well the thing is I still had a lot of schoolwork to do and I didn't know when I'd get home. It all started with road construction or I assume so, not a strange sight on the I-10. The road was closed for three plus miles and a detour was announced so my sister and I decided that we would bypass this detour and get off the highway one exit early. All fine and dandy going through dead parts of Arizona and although I had no idea exactly where I was going I knew Casa Grande was near and I could get back on the 10. Well then there was the accident. We're talking complete dead stop on a back road. Three helicopters blocking the road tons of emergency vehicles. I got out of the car and walked to ask an official some info. Of course he couldn't say much but I saw that there were at least 8 wrecked vehicles and a lot of injured people. My sister and I thought we were going to be stranded for a long while so we turned the car off (I was basically on empty, just a mile or two from Casa Grande) but noticed a car in the distance. We flipped a U and turned down a dirt road and rumbled through a farm to get around. To keep this from going too long. We still ran into more construction and accident and we took frontage road but I got home. Whew.

Well that was just the beginning because I was super ill on Monday. I think it was something I ate. Remember all that schoolwork? Well you can't get much done when you can't role out of bed and when you do all you do is vomit. Not fun, not fun at all. I spent the night with a few trips to the toilet and was no better this morning. I had to skip to finals but did manage to get a friend to take in some papers.

So what am I doing tonight? Well I am a bit better although I should be in bed but I still have more to go tomorrow, my final day. I have a design report due, the final to makeup, and a personal one-on-one meeting with a professor. So how am I sending myself into my final day? Why of course with an open Bawls by my side.

Oh and I forgot to mention the AC is broken in my house so it has been a consistent mid 80's to mid 90's. Not exactly the most conducive to a sick guy with a fever.

Friday, May 07, 2004

I'm dead inside
The Friends finale was last night. No more new stuff, never, nada. This is true, I am a big Friends fan and quite possibly the largest you've ever known or made acquaintance. I'd like to say some other shows are may favorites but I'd be lying cause I still find myself watching all the reruns even if it is the tenth time watching that episode. Friends has consumed my life for 10 years and now I have no idea what I will do for Thursday nights. It used to be great and nothing beat talking about it the next day. I'd hang with my friends all the time to watch it and then I'd tape it for those who couldn't see and allow them to get all caught up. Well I guess I can just focus on the shows I really like that are left. First of all Scrubs is the best, everyone must check it out cause it is genius. The only other sitcom I really try to catch is Simpsons (not as great) and sometimes Malcolm in the Middle. I guess I'll just stick to my Scrubs and Diamondbacks.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

What's the deal?
Remember those brooms? Break them right back out. I know Clement is pitching and it's going to be tough but I feel that right now the Diamondbacks are just clicking. What's wrong with your Cubs Daniel? Three wins in the past nine days? Hey remember when they led the division a little over a week ago? Those are good times. Of course I'll say it again, the D'Backs are just fightin' to get back to .500 and I feel that is soon. I'm also really glad Brenly made the move to bring Valverde back into the closer's spot. Know two for two and he looked great in the ninth not to mention getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth. I'm going to my first game of the season this Saturday and it should be Webb pitching, awesome!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Diamondbacks take another
Well it sure wasn't long inbetween when the D'Backs last played the Cubs and it didn't take long to defeat them once again. How about Valverde? Wasn't he just on fire striking out the side and making the hitters look quite incapable of hitting. It must have looked like 150 mph after seeing Sparks' knuckler floating about in the air about 60 mph. It's a good thing the Backs one this game because it will be a lot tougher tonight and tomorrow facing the Cubs' aces. Although, something else should be noted, the Diamondbacks have a large advantage with these night games at Wrigley Field. They normally have trouble during the day with the high sky and bright sun but with the sun down there's no advantage to the Cubs. We'll see what the result is from Wood but I guessing another series win.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Design Day
Anybody in Tucson or the University area, make a little stop by the student union grand ballroom. It's senior design day for all of the engineering students from about 11 till 4. There should be a lot of neat projects but mine is very cool. I hope to see anybody that can make it.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Man oh man
I really want to post the pictures but apparantly using tables in these posts doesn't work right and makes giant gaps. I'm really tired so I'll post the birefringence pictures tomorrow.

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