Friday, November 30, 2007 

My Car is an Accident Magnet II

A few times before I've posted about how people have hit my Hyundai. Yesterday, I got hit yet again by this young 22 year old girl on the freeway. I was on the 5 South in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. I was braking, and this girl who was trying to change lanes to the right, rear-ended me. Fortunately, I was okay, although I did get really minor whiplash and a headache. There were just some big scratches on my bumper. Her BMW's front crumpled up upon impact. She seemed like a sweet girl so I'm not going to sue her. Plus, I'm tough. I can't believe all those people who claim to be severely hurt after minor fender benders all the time. People in car races crash and flip over 20 times and still walk away fine.

This might have been a different story if I got hit really hard. A few months ago, I posted about how this one pick up truck was going real fast and kept skidding forward. I thought I was going to get hit, but fortunately, he was able to change lanes. Then, he proceeded to just cut in front of traffic later on like nothing ever happened.

I almost got into 2 more accidents after my accident yesterday morning. Another idiot made a double lane change without even looking. He kept driving into my lane when I was in the fast lane. He nearly drove me into the center divider. If I didn't break hard and honk at him, he would have definitely hit me. He was talking on his cell phone which he had in his left hand. He didn't even bother to turn his neck back to check his blind spots. Drivers are real lazy that way. They don't want to turn their dog-gone necks! Another time, I stupid woman made a left turn right in front of me when I was going 40 miles an hour on the streets. People have to make sure it's clear to turn before doing so. Gawd!

Previously on my Hyundai, my parents' neighbor hit my car when they were backing up from their garage. Another time, this old guy just hit my car trying to squeeze between a tight spot at the gas station. This other time, some jerk just left a big dent on the passenger side of the car without leaving a note. My car also has light swastika scratches on the back of my car trunk.

I thought I was glad that I still drive my older Hyundai so that I wouldn't get that upset as compared to if people hit me when I had a new car. One of my co-workers said that if I had a new Mercedes, people would try not to hit it, because it would be very expensive to fix. That may be true. Thinking back though, it wasn't that long before I got dents and scratches on my Mustang and on my new Honda Accord. So, I still think it's better to have an old car. Once you get a new car, it will be scratched and dented very soon. Take my word on it.

 

The Golden Compass


I went to the premiere for The Golden Compass and the director, Chris Weitz, was there to make opening comments about his new film. He said it took 3 years in the making and it was very expensive to make.

I think this film kicks Narnia's ass. This was still a film geared towards pre-teen children, but it was much more violent and had better action than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

The movie is basically the anti-Narnia. There are many worlds out there other than ours. In some worlds, the souls live within people. In other worlds, like the one in which The Golden Compass takes place, the souls live side by side next to people and the souls, called Daemons, take the form of animals. In other worlds, people do not have souls at all.

The star of the story is this 12 year old girl, Lyra. She's very headstrong, smart, and stubborn. She lives with her uncle and 007 agent, Daniel Craig. Pretty soon, Nicole Kidman comes to take Lyra on a journey to see the giant polar bear king. Lyra soon discovers that Nicole Kidman isn't as nice a woman as she first made herself out to be. Nicole seems to work for a church-like organization that wants to rule the world and tries to stop people from thinking freely. They don't want people to question its authority and its teachings.

Children's daemons keep transforming into different animals depending on their mood and/or situation while adult's daemons stay the same once they mature. Perhaps, this is a way to show that children's minds are more maleable and can be influenced whereas adults are more set in their ways. Children's personalities can be molded and are still developing.

Lyra then gets The Golden Compass, a device that helps her find out the truth in any situation. The church like organization are getting children to brain wash them. Lyra gets help from gypsy-like people called the Gyptians. She also meets some old guy with an airship like the ones found in the Final Fantasy video game series. She forms a strong friendship with a giant white polar bear. These polar bears have the voices of the Wizards from The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and Saruman.

This movie had great special effects that surpassed Narnia and Harry Potter. I just wish it wasn't full of kids. I don't like kid movies. If it was a fantasy movie geared more towards adults, it would be kick-ass.

The fight scene between the polar bears was great. I liked how Gandalf the polar bear slashed Saruman the polar bear's throat at the end. People in the audience started cheering like they were in the Roman Coliseum watching gladiators slaughter each other.

The movie seems like it will follow the book series just like the Narnia movies followed the books. So, expect to see more of these films in the future.

The big mystery is what "Dust" is. It seems to be some elemental particles that evince the existence of parallel universes. The church-like organization is hell-bent on trying to stifle this research, because they do not want people questioning the church's teachings.

Although I did not like the kiddiness of the movie, I liked the story overall. It's important to teach kids to seek the truth instead of blindly following what they're told without question.

My rating: B, 81.

The Highs: Beautiful special effects, great scenery, epic storyline, important lessons about learning about the truth instead of blindly following an institution's teachings.

The Lows: Too Kiddy for adults; cheesy animal daemon souls everywhere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 

Angeles Crest







Hiking up Angeles Crest. We're at the Charleton Flats area. Watch out for giant pine cones falling on your head.

 

Universal City Walk





 

Black Friday




Going shopping at the Century City Mall.

 

Turkey Day Weekend







On Thanksgiving, Sarah and I went to my sister's house for dinner. Everything was delicious. I overate as usual. Saejin, Ben, Amanda, and Amanda were also there. We played Guitar Hero III and other games too. That was fun.

On Black Friday, we went shopping in the morning. I don't think the deals were that great. I never want to go shopping on Black Friday again because of the long lines at the malls.

We also took Sarah's cousin around L.A. to show her the sights.

Here are some pictures of the canyons in Malibu. This was a day before the fires there. "We didn't start the fire...." Billy Joel.

Monday, November 19, 2007 

Bee Movie


Jerry Seinfeld is a bumblebee that doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. All the other bees are perfectly content with having the same job for the rest of their lives. Not Jerry. He wants to go outside the hive and explore a whole new world out there. One day he flies out with some pollen jocks, but gets trapped in a human's abode. He almost gets flattened, but a sweet woman named Renee Zellweger saves his prickly behind. He's so enchanted by the human girl's beauty, that he seems to have fallen in some sort of weird bee love/crush. Jerry wants to sting her, as in "birds and the bees" sting her, if you know what I mean.

Jerry the bumblebee is kinda like me. . .a lawyer who is a dreamer. I don't know how that bee got his license to practice law in human court. He just wants to fly around and experience the beautiful world out there.

Jerry uncovers a conspiracy by the damn humans to steal all the bees' honey by smoking the bees. He sees that there are hundreds of man made slave hives. He gets Renee to file a lawsuit against all the honey farm companies. They win the case in court. All the bees get their honey back. The bees now have too much honey so they stop working and chill out. Later on, plants, flowers, and trees start dying out because the bees are not there to pollinate them. Jerry and Renee go to the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena to get the last flowers on earth. They get the other bees to get the pollen and start sewing their wild oats across the land.

The Highs: Humorous, cute, good animation, somewhat educational about the importance of bees in the world.

The Lows: Absolutely ridiculous and silly. How'd a bee pass the bar exam? How can hundreds of bees lift up a 747?

The Verdict: A film for kids that parents can tolerate watching.

My rating: An appropriate B, 81, for Bee Movie.

 

Lions for Lambs


Chicken or Lamb?

Tom Cruise plays a U.S. Senator trying to become the next President. He's interviewed by a reporter, Meryl Streep. The movie starts off okay, but nothing really happens. People talk about politics and ideology. Their conversations become louder and more heated. Then more talk. Blah blah blah. A couple college kids join the army to prove that they're making a difference in the world and then they get shot by Afghans. Oh no. More pontificating. More diatribes.

The Highs: Good sound effects when the army helicopter goes by and gets shot down. A good discussion on war and politics.

The Lows: Too preachy; Can't get Tom Cruise as a crazy scientologist out of my mind; nothing really happens in the movie.

The Verdict: A Political Science major's dream movie.

My rating: D, 61.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 

Beowulf


I went to go see the advance movie screening of Beowulf. I thought it was an awesome visual spectacle. It's a total thrill ride. Scholars may look down upon this film because it doesn't have the haughty Old English poetry, but action movie buffs will like it a lot. The only way to see this movie is on the big screen. Once you put on the 3D glasses, you enter a world full of amazing special effects. I really liked the way they made this movie, except for people's faces. CG faces never look as good as real people, but this is the most realistic CG I've ever seen. I hope that video games strive to be like this movie in the future. All action movies should be in 3D. I thought this was the best 3D movie ever made.

Beowulf is a powerful hero who is a little bit full of himself. Aside from his ego, he really does kick ass. When he has to fight the monster Grendel, he decides to fight him naked, because Grendel doesn't have clothes either.

***Warning: Spoilers Ahead******

All my reviews contain spoilers, because I like to talk about the movie. Beowulf has to fight Grendel's mom, the beautiful and seductive demoness, Angelina Jolie. Not even the mighty Beowulf can escape the enchanting beauty of Angelina Jolie. Not Beowulf. Not even Brad Pitt. That Angelina Jolie is a homewrecker!

Beowulf's only weakness seems to be women. Or anything that looks like women. He lost a swim race because of a sexy mermaid. Giant sea monsters were no problem for him though.

In Beowulf's moment of weakness, he falls for Angelina Jolie. I don't think he could have killed her if he wanted to anyway, because swords go right through her as if she was a ghost.

Many years later, a new monster appears. It's Beowulf's bastard son, a dragon. Beowulf has to kill his dragon boy, because the dragon is hellbent on destroying mankind. Beowulf slashes the dragon's neck where his heart is. Why the heck is the dragon's heart in his neck? The dragon's heart seems to be too small to pump enough blood to the giant dragon's body too. But, we can't be too nitpicky about the details. This movie is just about the spectacular 3D effects.

After Beowulf kills his dragon boy, the dragon turns into a golden man, just like his mommy, right before he croaks. Beowulf sheds a few tears. Angelina Jolie comes to kiss Beowulf when he dies too. Beowulf's best friend becomes the new king, but Angelina Jolie, who is no angel, seems to seduce him as well to come join him in the sea.

The End.

I bet the new king follows her too. All the guys make the same mistake.

My rating: A, 91.

Highs: Gorgeous 3D special effects; great action; humorous.

Lows: Ugly CG faces; no longer a highbrow adventure of Old English tales; it's Angelina Jolie, but not really her.

Verdict: A 3D roller coaster of a movie. A must see movie in 3D.

Monday, November 12, 2007 

Battlestar Galactica Razor




This should have been called Battlestar Pegasus since that's what the movie focuses on.

TV Guide has said that Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television. It's a great sci-fi series that appropriately airs on the Sci-Fi channel. The show has great special effects and great drama, if you accept the fact that Cylon robots have now evolved to look exactly like humans. It's amazing how they make those robots look and act just like people!

Too bad that this, the fourth season, will be the last. If this aired on a major network like NBC, then I'm sure it would do better. It's much better than that crappy Heroes show. Heroes was good the first season, but the second sophomore season sucks bantha fodder so far. Hopefully, they can bring things back soon. With this WGA writer's strike, however, that might take awhile.

In this plot filler of an episode, Lt. Kendra Shaw, a new character in the show, is the center of this movie. Lt. Shaw is assigned to the Pegasus under the command of Admiral Helena Cain.

The Cylons have just destroyed most of humanity and the Pegasus has just narrowly escaped. Admiral Cain has a lesbian affair with a female Cylon, but she does not realize it until Kendra reveals that she's a robot whore.

Admiral Cain is one ruthless bi@tch of a commander and orders the Cylon chick to be tortured and humiliated to obtain information from her or it. Cain is one Machiavellian female leader. She orders her protege, Kendra, to take all the supplies from a civilian spaceship, because military needs outweigh everything else during wartime. Kendra, a sharp razor, does as ordered. When the civilians resist, Kendra is the first one to shoot. Later on, she struggles with guilt and shoots herself up with drugs to ease the pain.

***Warning Spoilers*******

Starbuck and Kendra go on board in old Cylon base and see Cylons from the 70's Battlestar Galactica (BSG) show. They have been capturing humans and studying them to make organic Cylon/Human hybrids. They try to blow up the Cylon spacestation, but their remote nuclear trigger is broken, so one of them has to stay behind and manually blow the place up. Lee Adama who has been promoted to be the Commander of Battlestar Pegasus by his daddy, Admiral Edward James Olmos, orders his not-so-secret lover, Starbuck, to stay behind and nuke the spacestation. Starbuck gets teary eyed but follows orders. However, before she blows the place up, Kendra orders her to leave with the other no-name space soldiers. Kendra stays behind to blast the place to smithereens. Before she could pull the trigger, an old man (Cylon?) tells her that he knows everything that is going to happen. He says that Starbuck will lead humanity to their ultimate destruction. Kendra tries to tell Adama, but her transmission is jammed. Kendra then blows the place up.

This was another great episode. Too bad it didn't have Grace Park star in it. Grace only appears for a couple seconds. What's up with that?

This wasn't as intense as the mid-season finale, the Eye of Jupiter, that they showed at one of the advance screenings I went to last year.

My rating: 90, A-

Highs: "Star Wars" like special effects; "Alias" level drama; Return of the 1970's Cylons that were lost in space; great acting.

Lows: Where the frack is Grace Park, the best star of the frackin' show?; Too many flashbacks to Kendra's killing of innocent civilians (oh boo hoo, we frackin' get it already!); no physical evidence of the lesbian love affair with Admiral Cain and Cylon Number 5 (just kidding!).

Verdict: A great season premiere to the final season to one of the best shows on television, BSG.

 

Hollywood

















A brief trip to Hollywood.

I saw a whole bunch of stars just hanging out in Hollywood, including Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Willy Wonka, Batman, Tigger, Supergirl, Jason from Halloween, and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 

3rd Wedding Anniversary



Time flies when you're having fun. I can't believe it's been 3 years since our wedding on November 6, 2004. It seems like it was only a few days ago. I think our lives have been really exciting and hectic with work and all the things to do and places to go. We just had a nice mocha cake to celebrate our anniversary. We didn't have time to go anywhere since we're both working. Sarah comes home late around 9:45 at night because of work.

We bought Wicked the musical tickets so we'll be going to see that. I'm pretty excited since I love musicals. I really liked seeing Les Miserables and Rent.

I also plan on taking Sarah and a few friends to see the screening of Battlestar Galactica: Razor next week at the movies. We were planning on going to a trip to Utah to see Zion and Bryce National Parks, but I don't think we'll have much time over Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, we plan on going camping to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. Hopefully, it won't be raining or freezing that weekend.

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! That's what I always say.

Monday, November 05, 2007 

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden












Here are a few pics from our trip to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. Most of the flora are California native plants. The paths are like a maze through a desert garden. I thought it was fun, because I like to explore.

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  • From L.A., California, United States
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