Tag Archives: weekend

Ain’t Dead Yet

Today marks the completion of my third decade on this planet and I am quite pleased to be able to announce that I ain’t dead yet. 😀 But worry not gentle reader, I’ll not be subjecting you to some passé retrospective about my life. Instead, I’ll just recap today and today alone.

I was up playing Wild Arms 3 till about 3 am as I just couldn’t sleep. Most likely due to an excessive amount of munching on holiday goodies while downing glass, after glass of soda1. I found one monster to fight that took around an hour to defeat but it jumped my characters up 4-7 levels! *grin* Then when I eventually got to bed; I slept poorly. Our apartment is just too dry this time of year and our little humidifier stopped working. This causes me to keep waking up with sinus headaches and a terrible thrist. I got out of bed about 8:30 – 9 and went back to playing the video game a bit more. Shortly there after, Michelle got up and gave me my birthday present.

What’d she get me? A case of blue balls Bawls. Then after lazing around most of the day; we headed out to the local mall to meet some friends.

I’d foolishly asked a bunch of friends to join us in watching the Narina movie with a follow-up plan to eat dinner together. There was one point that I’d not factored in these plans. This year, my birthday fell on a Saturday. Just about the last Saturday before Christmas. Traffic was insane and people all around were grouchy, though we did run across some nice people that helped us get around the parking lot2. We went over to the mall a little early and bought a new humidifer and then headed down to the theater. We got tickets, met up with our friends and went in to watch the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

*whew* What a movie! While not perfect, it was probably as good as we could hope for from a Hollywood production.
High points:

  • The actress playing Lucy was spot on. Most of the other actors cast in the movie were also quite good
  • The backgrounds were gorgeous.
  • The addition of the Nazi bombing run at the beginning of the movie really helped to give context to the time of the story.

Low points:

  • The costuming on the witch. Her outfits were ugly and just didn’t work with the imagery I have in my head for the character. Though I do have to admit the black , soulless eyes did work for me.
  • The witch was not nearly as afraid of Aslan as she should have been. In my memories of the book, the witch was terrified of Aslan but the movie seemed to put them on a more even footing.
  • Maugrim’s voice. The actor doing the voice did a fine job, but being the only character without a british accent really stuck out and annoyed me.

Overall, I’d say it was worth seeing in the theater and it is something I’ll be adding to our DVD collection when it becomes available.

After the movie was over, we headed to the restaurant. Oh, I should mention we had called earlier in the day to try making reservations but were told they don’t do that for parties of less than 8. And that they would have plenty of room for the 6 of us. When we got there; we were told it would be a 2 hour wait. We decided to switch to the Oyama Sushi restaurant. They seated us within minutes of our arrival (even though they were already pretty packed). Then they plied us with drinks until our food was ready3. We had a jolly time chatting and drinking (non-alcholic, for the most part) but all good things do come to an end and eventually we all headed home. It was a very good day and while I ain’t dead yet; I am a bit tired so good night, sleep tight and don’t let the space bugs bite!

1 a.k.a. pop to you heathens.
2 A few people threw their cars into reverse to open up bigger areas for us to drive through and things of that nature.
3 It turns out this weekend contains not only my birthday and practically the last weekend before Christmas but it’s also graduation weekend for the University! No wonder everything was so packed today! This also explains why it took so long for our food to arrive.

HP:GoF

Over the weekend, Ariesna & I went with some friends to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I went into the movie with extremely low expectations1 but much to my surprise; I rather liked the movie. Sure huge chunks of the book were wacked out, but you have to expect that when you are taking 734 pages of text and converting it into a movie just over 2.5 hours long. The special effects were upto pair with anything in the prior movies. Also, although the actor playing Mad-Eye Moody didn’t look quite like I had pictured the character; he did a nice job of it. Overall, I give this one a thumbs up and it will eventually be going in my DVD collection (unlike some the previous one).

1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was such a wretched film that it nearly ruined the entire series for me.

Review: Threads of Malice

Product Image: Threads of Malice

Threads of Malice
My rating: 4 out of 5.

I read Threads of Malice last week1 and wowsers! If you’ve read Ghosts in the Snow then you need to be warned before reading Threads that Ghosts is a much lighter book than Threads. The villian in Threads is far more evil than the one in Ghosts and this gives the book a much darker tone. Still with that being said, Threads is a great read.

This time around Mrs. Jones takes us out of the castle and up into The Reach. Young boys have been disappearing throughout the region for the past couple of years. When Dubric arrives in the area; he’s greeted by dozens of ghosts all at once. It’s quite the unexpected & draining experience for him. Additionally, we get to see Dien’s family and Lars learns what real family life is like.

I don’t really know what else about the story I could tell you without giving away either the mystery or the good non-mystery bits. This is a problem that I’m not the only one has. I say this because at ICON this past weekend, I attended a panel where Mrs. Jones read some passages from Threads; as well as a few pages from her third Dubric book2. One of the passages she read from Threads was included one of my favorite scenes in the book, though it turns out we visualized it somewhat differently. The scene takes place as Lars along with 2 of Dien’s daugthers are walking into town to buy some supplies3.

He hurried after them, their names hovering in his throat, but he halted after a few steps. Aly climbed onto the head of a massive stone rabbit, then slid down its back, laughing all the while. Jess leaned against it, her hand on its nose, regarding him with mirthful eyes.
“Lars, Hargrove, I’d like to introduce you to your geandfather’s rabbit.” She bowed with a flourish and grinned at him.

That’s just a fragment of the scene, but it’s the important part to me. When I first read this scene, my mind drew up a picture of a rabbit sitting up on its hindlegs wearing a waistcoat (like something you’d expect from Alice in Wonderland). The rabbit was made of a “mostly” white marble, with bits of grey scattered about here & there. The weather had caused a small crack to form near the top of the rabbit’s head, just above the left eye. Some moss had begun to grow in that crack, looking something like a scar and giving the rabbit a certain roguish appeal. From speaking to Mrs. Jones at ICON, I found out she had imagined the stone rabbit looking like a rabbit you’d see in nature. Ok, so maybe it’s not all that important but I found the scene very endearing.

I’m feeling a bit out of it; so I’m going to wrap this review up. The book was excellent but didn’t quite grip me like Ghosts had. On the other hand, the intense evil and darkness in this book was somewhat balanced out with Lars getting his first real taste of what family life is like. It’s a highly enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any adult readers4. Mrs Jones, good job and I look forward to the next book!

1 Since then I’ve read through Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. I just didn’t feel like writing up reviews for those books.
2 Currently, the third book is titled “Valley of the Soul”.
3 Taken from pages 144-145 of Threads of Malice.
4 Given the forms that the evil takes in this book; I would not recommend this for younger readers.

Bandwidth Woes (part 2)

After talking with my webhost, we tracked the spike in my bandwidth usage to a group of IP addresses in 64.62.168.*. Upon further investigation, it appears one or more computers in that block of IP addresses is searching for some sort of vulnerability in various online forum software. Since I do run a small forum for a friend; I’ve blocked all access from that group IP addresses. This appears to have stopped the sudden bandwidth spike and kept this site from going down over the weekend.

Quick Update

Apologies to all my faithful readers, I’ve been busy working on some new features for the ICON 30 website (with some massive help from Aizuchi. For extra pain, we’re into our next beta cycle at work; so I’m considerably busier there. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve had a bit of a cold that just isn’t going away. Ye olde Advil Cold & Sinus beats it down for a while, but it seems to keep coming back. If it doesn’t go away by this time next week, I’ll probably be making an appointment with the doctor to get checked out. *sigh*

I did get one break since my last real post and that was last weekend’s AnimeIowa. I was rather disappointed with this year’s con. The programming track was only sparsely filled and I didn’t see anything in it that interested me1. So I mostly hung out with people I knew at the con and tried to help out the con photographer2. Mostly, I just helped tear-down/setup his gear in different rooms. *shrug* It was no big deal and I got to see pretty much all of the costumes. As usual, some were fabulous and some were…. not. Of course some of the best were in the Masquerade, and the Masquerade was the main reason we went this year. A friend of ours was in charge of it and overall it appeared to go fairly well. However there were a few problems; most of which I did not hear about until after the con was over. The main thing that I noticed was the costumers wouldn’t shut up. It may seem a bit harsh, but they all know they’re supposed to keep quiet while in the green room and we had to constantly go around asking them to be quiet throughout the whole Masquerade. *sigh* If you know the rules in advance, have them re-explained to you when you show up shortly before the Masquerade then why do you have to continually break them? *grrr*

As for the rest of the con, the dealer’s room was smaller this year and unless you wanted Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist merchandise; you were pretty much out of luck. Since they didn’t have as many dealers; the con-com put the Artists’ Alley inside the dealer’s room. This was a bright idea and I ended up buying some magnets from the guy who does the FAUB webcomic. I was not familiar with the webcomic prior to this year’s AnimeIowa but I really liked the artwork in the magnets and have since read through their entire archive of webcomics and added it to my Portal page.

I didn’t have much desire to go into any of the video rooms, but I did find one playing Bubblegum Crisis which was kind of nice. Though I didn’t get to stay around long as that was just before I had to help Wookie move his gear from the hall cosplay judging room to the green room for the Masquerade.

All in all, it was a disappointing weekend. *shrug* Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

In more current news, I’ve finally gotten caught up in listing to all the podcasts I’ve downloaded. It’s nice to listen to them and actually hear other people’s thoughts on current events while the events are still current. Along those lines, the jazz mashup from the episode# 240 of the Daily Source Code was extremely cool. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got time to write for now.

1 I should say nothing on Saturday or Sunday as I wasn’t there Friday.
2 Wookie comes to the con and takes pictures of all the Hall Cosplay entries & after the con puts them on a site where people can order prints if they want them. Also, Wookie’s a fun guy to hang around the con with.

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