1. Name one song you hate to admit you like. Right now that would be the ABBA cover of SuperTrouper by the A-Teens.
2. Name two songs that always make you cry. Well, I don't cry much, but two songs that have an emotional impact on me are Don't Answer Me by The Alan Parson's Project and Storm on the Sea by The Thompson Twins.
3. Name three songs that turn you on. You've Got a Way by Shania Twain, The Love Thieves by Depeche Mode, and If You Were Here by The Thompson Twins.
4. Name four songs that always make you feel good. Hmmm... maybe Barbie Girl by Aqua, So Young by The Corrs, Steal My Sunshine by Len, and Ask by The Smiths.
5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without. Let's go with I Wish I Cared by a-ha, Take Me Away by Babble, Everything Counts (Live) by Depeche Mode, Get the Message by Electronic, and Miracle by Jon Bon Jovi.
1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? A little bit, sure. Why or why not? If I weren't somewhat organized, my work would be pretty difficult!
2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly? My PowerBook has all that on it, and it's with me most of the time, so I guess the answer would be yes.
3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now? Not really, but I am in the middle of a big project, so things are in disarray. After a project has been completed, I'll take some time to clean it up again.
4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter? I absolutely do!
5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize? Photographs from my travels over the years. It got out of hand, and now it's almost impossible to get them in order. Fortunately, I now have a digital camera and use the excellent iPhoto on my Macs to keep things straight.
1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.? The tap water where I live is chlorinated, which I hate, so I always buy whatever jug drinking water is on sale at the grocery store. At work I usually purchase flats of "Kirkland" water from Costco to drink.
2. What are your favourite flavor of chips? I try to stay away from chips because I'm trying to limit the amount of hydrogenated fats I consume... but when I must have a chip, it's usually Sun Chips Regular. My favorite snack that's not a chip remains Pirate's Booty, which I will gladly eat over any other snack food.
3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? I like the enchiladas I make. They are based on a recipe my grandmother gave me, but I use rice instead of burger meat.
4. How do you have your eggs? Creamed into mayonnaise, which I will eat on most anything. On the rare occasion that I eat eggs, they are usually scrambled.
5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out? The cook at Denny's. I had the Boca Burger which is always excellent (unfortunately, the fries were not very crispy this time around, however).
Okay, having just seen The Matrix Reloaded for the second time, I can now say with authority that the movie was quite a let-down from the promise of the original. Sure it had great special effects and some killer action sequences, but the story itself was fairly boring and repetitive. To explain why I feel that way, it's necessary to discuss some details of the film, so stop reading if you haven't seen it yet.
And, before I get e-mails from people telling me that I didn't like Reloaded because I didn't understand it, please spare me your wrath, because I understand the film all too well... I've studied Nietzsche, and have a firmer grasp on the philosophical concepts of "free will" and "choice" than most people do, so everybody claiming to like Reloaded simply because you think it makes you look smart, can just skip the rest of this post but, for the rest of you, here it goes:
The reason I didn't like this movie is that it failed to engage me for the duration. There were always "stoppers" in the way of the story's flow that made it impossible to really get absorbed into the world that the Wachowski Brothers have created. Inane strips of boredom that repeat the same theme over and over again until you find yourself slipping into a coma until the next cool action sequence arrives. How many times do we need to hear about machines and humans needing each other to survive and the consequences of making choices? We get to hear both themes repeated so often that I find myself amazed that there are people that don't understand the film's concept... first that ridiculously dull walk that Neo takes with the head council guy, then again from the Oracle, once more from the Merovingian, and yet again from the Architect. Holy crap... we get it already! And let me add to my complete frustration with the incredibly stupid Zion rave dance sequence, which has been dissed to death on every review I've read. What was the point? I'm sure it was intended to show a celebration of humanity that is worth fighting and dying for, but all it did was grind the movie to a screeching halt. Too many moments like this made me long for a good editor to step in and tighten the story to a watchable pace (and fix the gawd-awful time shifting that destroys the final action sequences as the three teams attempt to break into "The Source").
Enough with the bad, anything good? Well, I was pretty entertained by the action... the freeway chase sequence is astounding to a degree that I would gladly pay another $7 just to see those 15 minutes again. The fights are a bit repetitive, but fun to watch. Monica Bellucci (as Persephone) is breathtaking. And Morpheus' line to Agent Smith: "Does that include a bullet from this gun?" is easily the best line from a movie since Trinity's "Dodge this" in the original. I also like the fact that the film has a decent puzzle in it... is the "real world" that people think is real actually just another level of the Matrix for further control? Did Neo and Agent Smith (in his Zion-acquired body) escape the "Matrix within a Matrix" altogether and make it to the real real world, which is why they ended up in comas at the end? I guess we'll find out in six months.
Alrighty then! I wish I could say that I have been on some kind of exotic expedition to the Himalayas, taking time only to blog the Friday Five and see The Matrix Reloaded, but that would be an oversimplification of the truth. I have, in fact, been working day and night to catch up with various projects that have been piling up over the last month. So, for those few friends that have my blog on an XML feed and thought I was dead... you were not far from the truth. About the only interesting thing that's changed in my life is a decision to put off my Australian Hard Rock run for a little while so that I can buy a bike for the summer. Lately I keep running into friends who have purchased new rides, and find myself growing increasingly jealous with each new day (it's nice to get my mid-life crisis over with). The problem is that I have not touched a motorcycle in nearly 13 years! So come July, I'm off to take the MRC so I can get my ME on my DL and then go into all kinds of debt and get a bike. Then I can spend the weeks I was going to be in Australia learning to ride all over again. I can't think of a better way to spend the summer.
1. What brand of toothpaste do you use? I change toothpaste every time I buy it, as I am always looking for the latest and greatest in tooth-care technology! Right now I have a tube of Colgate Extra Whitening that I'm finishing up, and the next tube up is AquaFresh Extreme Clean (it foams!).
2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer? Whatever is on sale. I don't really put much thought into something that's going to be wiping my ass (but perhaps I should be?).
3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear? Nike. This is the only brand I've found that have an arch my feet can be comfortable with. I wish they made inline skates.
4. What brand of soda do you drink? I don't touch the stuff. I limit the amount of crap I consume in a day, and there are far better ways to enjoy useless calories than soda pop.
5. What brand of gum do you chew? I am not a big "gum chewer" but, when I do indulge, it is usually Juicyfruit because it's always easy to find. I prefer natural gums, like Speakeasy, but it's hard to find them anywhere.
Ack! First I was disappointed by The Matrix Reloaded, and now another summer blockbuster has underwhelmed me... X2: X-Men United. Boring, boring stuff. The most powerful mutants on earth aren't battling other powerful mutants like "The Hellfire Club," cool aliens like "The Brood," giant robots like "The Sentinels," or even an intergalactic threat like "The Shi'ar." Oh no, this time they are battling boring humans in boring situations with boring action that that makes me wonder why in the heck people are liking this movie.
Even worse, the "big bad" at the end of the film isn't even a boring human, but water. Yes, water. The X-Men battle water in the boring climax to this damn boring film.
The only thing that even remotely salvaged any entertainment value for me was the addition of Nightcrawler, who actually uses his mutant powers in a cool and exciting way throughout the film. But the others? Cyclops gets out maybe two optic blasts. Storm has seemingly lost the ability to fly, Rogue consciously uses her power once in the entire film (and to lame effect)... it goes on and on. About the only action sequence outside of Nightcrawler's attack on the White House that was worth watching was the fight between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike, but even that was pretty lame, because Wolverine wins by using his brains instead of the brute-force method that would have made it so much more satisfying. Magneto and Mystique are back from the first film, thankfully, because they are the only remotely interesting characters in X2 again.
When are we going to get an X-Men movie that has bad-ass battles that are even half as exciting as the comic book? Where are the all-powerful villains that will make the X-Men struggle? Sure, in X3 we're set up for having Phoenix arrive, but if things go as they have been, she won't be the all-powerful goddess that can destroy a planet, she'll be a bland imitation of Pyro that can burst into flame once or twice. Brian Singer, please prove me wrong and give us a third X-Men film worth watching.
1. What do you most want to be remembered for? Always taking responsibility for my actions.
2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life? "No matter where you go... there you are." from the movie Buckaroo Banzai.
3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year? Deciding to once again do those things I used to enjoy, but gave up to make other people happy.
4. What about the past ten years? The same... it's taken me ten years to get to this point!
5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say? Always remember that everything you do has consequences, so make sure you can live with the decisions you make before you act.