Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar night

It was Slumdog Millionaire's night for sure. Best Picture, Best Director, even Best Original Song. But even more amazing is that it is actually wrapping up on time. I'm typing this from the West Coast, and having watched the show from the East Coast for the last 7 years, I'm still disorientated from leaving off before midnight.

I still think Wall-E was the best movie of last year, but am not surprised that Academy wasn't ready to give an animated film a Best Picture nomination. There have been solid animated films before, but Wall-E smashed through barriers in terms of complexity of the shots, use of focus and close-up, and a multilayered plot.

And yet, I do have to admit: Jai Ho is a catchy tune.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Well, I just got done watching the second episode of Dollhouse. My faith is renewed!

I have to admit, despite being one of those rabid Joss Whedon fans who loved Firefly and watched Angel and Buffy religiously, I was a bit taken aback by the pilot to his new series Dollhouse. It was pedrestrian--telegraphing the plot and moves with all the subtlety of a brick through a window. It was competently done, but nothing special.

Tonight was completely different. This is a story to sink one's teeth into. And despite the previews for last week giving away the main plot, it was the subplots and background that gave it life and made it interesting. The unanswered questions and the intimations of catastrophe always keep things hopping. I'm looking forward to the next week of Dollhouse, a pleasant surprise!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crown of Gold

So a three month long saga of dentistry came to an end today.

Just before my trip to Japan last year, I cracked a filling. This unfortunately seemed to happen every year or two. I like to think my jaw has superhuman strength, but really there was probably just some weird Tacoma bridge thing going on.

Anyway, my dentist decided enough was enough with that tooth, and it was time to put a crown on it once and for all. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time before my travels, so I left with a hole in the tooth and the hope of getting in fixed when I could.

There being just one week between my Japan trip and my Christmas trip, that wasn't going to happen, so I still tried to be careful with it for another few weeks.

Then job interview season began. I thought I had a one week window of opportunity. So I had my dentist drill out the tooth where the crown would go, and put on a temporary.

Then I got an interview the week I was supposed to get the permanent crown put in. Time to be careful, and hope the temporary crown lasted. One week went by, and then two. And finally last week, the temporary cracked.

That was bad. Since the hole had been drilled, I could not put any pressure at all on that tooth without it giving me pain. So I went on the job interview, and tried not to seem a complete lunatic chewing on one side of my mouth and occasionally wincing as a stray chunk of food managed to escape and land on my poor tooth.

Today, however, all that came to an end! My dentist put on the permanent crown, and I have to say, it feels great. For the first time in three months, I don't feel a hole in my tooth when I run my tongue across it, and that's a nice feeling. It's a gold crown, and it slipped twice while he was sanding it down to size, so I got to feel how heavy it is. Now to crunch something!

Monday, February 9, 2009


This is good stuff.

This is scary, not in the thrill ride way, but in the slow exploration of dark things that go bump in the night kind of way. This is a movie where insects and black cats, rats and the demonic shadow selves that lurk around the corner of reality just out of sight behind the corner of your eye get to come out and play.

This is life writ large--hopes and dreams of a perfect world contrasting the drab eventuality of gray uniforms and candy that's been in the cupboard too long. But there's always a price to pay for perfection.

This is handcrafted, in the way only a stop-motion film can be, where every detail, every second is the work of days. Behind every scene lurks a woodcarver, a precision painter, an intricate machine to move the puppets and control the world up on the screen.

Coraline. This is good stuff.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So I've been flying around the country on various interviews, and I've learned one thing.

Nobody flies from Raleigh-Durham to Chicago anymore.

Not that I'm complaining. On my last trip, on two different airlines, both from RDU to ORD and back again, the plane was half empty. Now that is luxury. I can grab the middle seat and recline without fear of crushing some poor sucker behind me, and break out my laptop without worrying about the guy in front of me crushing me. All in all, it's a great experience.

Now if only that holds when I fly to London next month, I'll be a happy camper!