Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Separated at Birth?

Two Battle Scarred Veterans... who do you want on *your* fantasy football team?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Who would win in a fight between...

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny looks to address the eternal issue of Mortal Kombat-style fights between ...well, whoever. In my experience, the question of who would win in a fight between... stayed in the realm of the animal world, ie: puma vs. cheetah, weight-lifting gorilla vs. black bear, grizzly bear vs. polar bear, great white shark vs. grizzly bear/puma tag team, etc. This Flash video is still pretty damn funny. Mom, you probably won't enjoy this one.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Big Monkey!

It's been a little more than a week since Sarah returned from Denver, and we are finally starting to settle back in. I picked her up at San Francisco Airport last Tuesday night, and whisked her off to Wilbur Hot Springs for a few R&R days. The waters were a little too stinky for our tastes (and very very salty--even the filtered water for showering and drinking left our pores filled with sulfur-y odors for days afterward, which was gross) and a little too hot for protracted bathing, but the lodgings were gorgeous--we stayed in the Loft Room, which you ascend spiral staircase to get to--and the communal kitchen was a great common space. The other highlight was tromping around the 1800 acres of private land around the springs. The whole area supported a pretty intense mining industry around the turn of the last century, and the land is dotted with collapsed mines and smeltery ruins, and zigzagged with old mining roads. Next time I bring a camera.

The transition from such free personal time to sharing a house with four other people, with me getting back into classes and Sarah feeling like she had no context, was a little rough. I felt like last week was the first week of school, which is bad because SKSM's semester was two weeks old already, and UCBerkeley's was a month in. I hope I haven't dug myself too deep a hole, but nothing to do now but plug my nose and dive in.

We watched King Kong yesterday afternoon at The Parkway--$3 Saturday Matinee is unbeatable in the Bay Area--and feeling a little aimless and not wanting to waste money, we watched Gosford Park last night at home (with a lot of pauses to dissect motivations and character). So lots of movie time, with two very different films.

I agree with what seems to be the CW on King Kong, that it was a ninety-minute movie over-padded with a lot of indulgent twaddle. Especially the scene with all the giant bugs and toothed-foreskin worms at the bottom of the canyon. Yuck. I liked Kong (great facial expressions--nice work again, Andy Serkis[aka Gollum]), in particular the way his jaw was lopsided, and all the scars of battles past he bore. The sense of him being old and nearing the end of his road was the only thing that made his inevitable end bearable. When I was a kid, I had such a hard time at movies--I had to cover my eyes during the climactic Lightning-Striking-the-Clock-Tower moment of Back to the Future--and I feel like after a brief respite, I am again emotionally investing myself in movies to a degree that I no longer enjoy them. I mean, I was almost sobbing during the end of King Kong, even with all my efforts at detachment and my understanding of the flaws in the acting and plot, just because the giant ape was doomed from the start, had no chance, was infected by America and sacrificed to it just as surely as all the girls presented to him had been. Tragedy, as Mel Brooks said, is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole and die. That said, I couldn't stop think about Homer and Bart watching Gorilla the Conqueror (as part of Million Dollar Movies' Big Gorilla Week) and Homer sobbing at the end, "It's so unfair! Just because he's different..." That said, the big gorilla floating off to sea in a cage at least leaves hope alive, versus the journalists clambering over Kong's corpse sprawled out in front of the Empire State Building angling for a face shot. Just because he's different indeed.