Monday, July 20, 2009

Remember When 203 Had a Blog?

So the 203 Blog is dead. It was sad to see it go, but it pretty quickly became a Matty Cakes and me production (which would make for a great production company name, I should copyright that) and even that fizzled out eventually. That being said, I guess it would be good to give a quick rundown of the legendary 203.

So Jefe went and got married. Yep, it's done. It was a fun reception and a fun wedding day. One of my favorite parts of the day was listening to the father of C. recount the whole experience of her dating from his end. He's over in the UK so he would only hear much through phone calls and kept notes on a spreadsheet. Basically Jefe was the only normal one and eventually he became the only one.

Jimmy graduated and is now doing an accounting internship out in the San Jose area for KPMG. He's living with his parents and he sounds like he's having a lot of fun. KPMG took all the interns out to Disneyworld for a week earlier in the summer and he's made himself a nice little purchase of a new 2010 Prius. Pretty sweet. In the fall he's getting his MAC at Utah State so he won't be our roommate anymore. It definitely brings a tear to my eye.

Jordan (I need a decent nickname for him) is off in Chicago doing a PR internship. I haven't heard much from him, but he sounds like he's doing well and it must be an incredible internship.

Psycho T is working as an athletic trainer for sports camps on campus. He really sounds like he's enjoying it, but we don't see him too much because he's always pretty busy.

Matty Cakes is still working and hanging out. He's become my new buddy to run around town with. Of course he gets to leave town for a while this week, so I get the place to myself for the most part.

As for myself, I started a new job recently at APXAlarm in the Licensing Department. Basically I make sure the reps and techs in California and Canada are licensed to sell and install. It's been a fun job and I absolutely love my coworkers. It's been a good experience.

In the fall 203 is downsizing by moving into a 4 man apartment now that were out Jimmy and Jefe. I've never lived in a 4 man place so that should be interesting. It's right next to campus which is interesting since that really doesn't make a difference for me now that I'm graduated. I'm looking to work for a while before I begin law school. Life is good though.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ode to the Remote Control

You were never there for me were you mother? You expected Mike and Carol Brady to raise me! I'm the bastard son of Claire Huxtable! I am a Lost Cunningham! I learned the facts of life from watching "The Facts of Life"! Oh God!
- Chip Douglas The Cable Guy

So early in the summer my beloved TV bit the dust (it was an Akai, DO NOT EVER BUY AKAI! one of the worst purchases I've ever made). So for a little while we braved the times without it and that was definitely a pain for me. I absolutely love movies and sports, so not having a TV was unbearable. Thankfully, my roommate, Mr. Potter, brought us a TV so now we're able to watch TV and movies again. Of course the thing I've noticed is I still don't watch quite as much as I used to, especially TV. And I think I know what the reason is for this: The TV Remote. This new TV does not have a remote. I've found it's really annoying to get up even just to turn it on, not to mention changing stations and controlling the volume. I know it's all so pathetic, but when you grow used to this convenience it really is such a sad thing to be missing it. And so what have I done in response? Just not watched much TV. I still watch movies, which I have a remote for the DVD player (although I obviously still have to put the DVD into the player) and a remote for my surround sound (which only works with the DVD player).

But appreciate your remotes people, they are indeed wonderful devices. I think back to the TV's that used to have knobs (which I have used on occasion) and it's just amazing how somebody didn't develop something like the remarkable remote control sooner.

I look forward to the day that I get a new TV and get a remote once again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

So I went to the midnight showing which was definitely a lot of fun. There were all sorts of people dressed up in various goofy outfits. The theater had even labeled the different theaters as though they were different classes at Hogwarts. I was kind of surprised the employees weren't dressed up. Obviously this movie is going to be huge, I mean the theater was having showings at 3 in the morning because so many people wanted to go see it.

That being said, here's my review: It sucked. Now I can imagine I'm going to have a lot of people screaming at me for that and I'll give my reasoning, but I suppose first I should give my Harry Potter background. I have never cracked a single one of the books. It seems like any time there's movies made from books, that's the first question you get from somebody. So I can imagine I'll get berated for that one already. Now, I have seen all of the movies, most of them multiple times. I'm not sure how many times I've seen The Order of the Phoenix, but I know it's sparse compared to the rest. That being said, my favorite one is the 4th movie, and I liked the 5th a lot too. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a bigger proponent of the movies than myself though. Most people I know that have read the books constantly lament that they just don't live up to expectation. Movies and books are different forms of communication, people need to just get over that. But seriously I love the movies. They're fun, exciting, they have good morals, the characters are very likeable and interesting. Maybe they're not masterpieces as far as a lot of directing and acting, but they're enjoyable. It's almost like I'm a kid again when I watch them as my imagination runs wild. Seriously I love the movies a lot, so I'm not a Harry Potter naysayer or anything like that. I'll admit, I'm probably being a bit harsher on this movie than maybe I should be, but when the bar has been set and the movie just does not live up to it, that's a serious problem. And I'm not necessarily saying this is about expectations that this movie would be great, but that the other movies had been so good that it seemed out of place. So take my firm evaluation with a grain of salt.

Now I'll give my spoiler free review of the movie. First it kind of bugged me that a lot of the lighting seemed a bit odd. It almost reminded me of something like 300, in that it had this hazy computer graphic tint to it for a lot of the movie which just seemed weird. There are portions of the movie in which Harry is looking at memories and this effect is exaggerated, and at those times it's sensible. However, the tint that seemed to exist during most of the movie just seemed weird and unnecessary.

The cinematography is gorgeous. Of course, like it is with a lot of newer movies, I often wonder what is real and what is simply CGI. It's really impressive to see the scenery, both in world landscapes and the details of the different rooms. I can't believe all of the miniscule details they have worked out as far as different elements of all the different rooms and such. The costumes are still great as well.

As far as the acting goes, I think the majority of the characters give pretty similar performances to what they've given thus far. If you thought the acting was good recently, you'll enjoy it now. And for the most part, I'd say the acting was quite good. However, there were a lot of things with humor and such that really seemed forced, especially early in the movie. They just seemed like they were trying too hard for a laugh. Also, Dumbledore seemed like his acting was a bit different this time around and almost out of place. It just seemed odd.

Now, why did I trash this movie so hard? The plot. I'm not going to go into the specifics right now for the sake of anybody that may not be familiar with the Harry Potter storyline, but frankly I felt like I watched a movie that was two and a half hours of not much of anything really relevant until the end when, BAM!, there's a rather dramatic change. It just seemed rather odd and so disappointing. There was very little advancement of the main storyline of Harry versus Voldemort and it just seemed really odd. This movie just didn't have the same sort of fun or excitement of the others and didn't seem as interconnected as the others.

I guess a lot of it was I felt more like I was watching a drama than the Fantasy/Adventure movies that the others have been. This movie just did not follow suit and I'm sad that it turned out so poorly. Hope the next two redeem themselves.