Sunday, April 22, 2007

Comic Books

Originally posted on xanga.

I've been collecting comic books for the past 21 years.  I don't have an exact count, but my collection runs into the thousands.  I mainly collect Marvel comics and my favorite is Iron Man.

Recently, I've been having a lot of trouble storing my comics.  I don't know what to do with all this stuff anymore.  I have stacks and stacks of it sitting around my office.  I have most of them stored in my parents garage.  Beyond reading the comics once, I rarely read it a second time.  I keep it as purely as a collectible.

I've been considering stopping cold turkey and selling my collection.  Getting it out of my life completely.

A part of me loved the chase aspect.  I wanted so badly for years to collect all the back issues of the Iron Man series.  That lead to the Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.

I need to simplify my life.  I have too much clutter.  Too many things keeping me occupied, that I don't have time to do the important things in life.

Hopefully I will find someone to take the comics off my hands for a reasonable price.  Most likely it'll be a comic book dealer.  I don't have time to sell stuff individually, I just want to get rid of it in one swoop.  I'll put that money towards my daughters college fund.

But I may change my mind again later.  There's just so much good stuff out there now. 

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stuck at 220 and other random stuff

Originally posted on xanga.

So I started my quest to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese better and to start learning how to write Chinese about 6 months ago.  I've been stuck at 220 or so characters for the past 2 months.  I got to 220 characters at around Valentine's day.  Since around than, I took a month off and have spent most of this month catching up.  Just the last 2 days, I've started to learn 2 or 3 new characters.  The first in a long time.  Part of the reason is that I have a very bad review process.  It was taking 2 hours a day to do everything  But this week, I've figured out a way that I only need to review the beginning characters once a week and the new ones daily and the middle ones 2 or 3 times a week.  This cuts my review time to about 30 minutes a day!  I started cue cards  at the beginning of the year, but the stack is huge now and I don't have time to really review with my busy lifestyle.

I recently watched the much hyped Andy Lau and Daniel Wu movie called, Protégé.  It was a really interesting film that had a focus on the drug trade and something many HK movies have nowadays.  An undercover cop.  I was actually struck by a stunning Zhang JingchuZhang Jingchu will also be in Rush Hour 3.

I also like to congratulate Lau Ching-Wan on his win for My Name is Fame at the HK movie awards.  I've been a fan of his since his TVB days in the 80s and C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri is one of my all time favorite movies.  C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri also stars my favorite HK actress of the 90s, Anita Yuen.

I've also been watching this Blood Sword Clan series.  I think I fast forwarded through 80% of the series.  Not very good.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chinese Dramas

Originally posted on xanga.

I've grown up watching Chinese dramas and Hong Kong movies.  Its probably one of the reasons that I can still understand as much Mandarin Chinese as I do now.  Some of my favorite dramas were those from TVB of Jinyong's novels.  The ones from the 80s from the "5 tigers" of Hong Kong were my favorites.  Although I haven't watched them since the early 90s, I can still remember them fondly.  My two favorites dramas starred Tony Leung Chiu Wai.  The versions I watched were all the Mandarin dubbed versions.

Many of those Jinyong series get a production from both Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Recently, China's been releasing their own productions as well.  So, for any given drama, you can see 2 or 3 interpretations every decade or so dating to the 70s.

Recently, these past 3 months, I've been able to watch 2 series that have really caught my attention.  One is called "The Proud Twins" starring two HK male leads, Dicky Cheung and Nicholas Tse.  Its around 44 or 45 episodes (depends on which DVD set you're watching).  I must say that the first 25 episode were fantastic.  Simply amazing.  I watched in anticipation for each story arc to unfold.  But the series took a really dark tone after that point and I ended up fast forwarding through at least 80% of the rest of the series.  I remember telling my wife that she had to watch it and I'd translate whatever she couldn't understand.  But I couldn't recommend it after I watched it all.  Only 60% of the series was any good.  Do the producers and makers even know how good it was and how much it sucked after?  In any case, it was GREAT for 25 episodes.  I can tell you when to stop and not watch anymore.  This story was based off a Gu Long novel.

The second was one that I just finished watching.  It may hold a place in my heart as the best I've seen in years.  Its out of Taiwan called "Angel Lover" starring Ming Dao, Bianca Bai, and Coco Jiang.  I immediately felt an affiliation with the lead's character, personality, and sense of humor.  The lead's love interest was just as, if not more, interesting.  The series has distinct story arcs and I only fast forwarded through one of the arcs.  The songs are pretty catchy as well.  I'll have to search for the OST around town.  I have no idea where the story originated from but I thought it was quite unique and kept me on board for most the ride.

I also enjoyed a very lighted hearted movie with my current favorite actress, Cherrie Ying.  The movie doesn't have a official english name, but if I were to translate, it would be "Dream Seekers".  Takes place in China and may be reflecting the changing face of the Chinese as they start to take in more and more of the world cuture.  I must warn you that it contains a pretty high "cheese" factor.  Its called meng xiang ren jian in pinyin.

For the first time, I am actually going to open up an entry for comments.  I'll see how that goes.  If I get zero comments.  No need to turn on comments than I say.  But who knows.  It I get too many saying I am lame, I'll have to reconsider.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Some of my favorite Anime

Originally posted on xanga.

I haven't been able to watch anime like I did in the 90s and early 2000s. But I can recall some of my favorite anime series.

Cowboy Beebop
Spike and gang were so cool when I first watched this around 2000 that I couldn't wait for the DVDs to be released. As I was into my late 20s at that point, I wanted anime that had adult leads and topics about life.

Initial D
I remember chain watching Stage One and Stage Two in a 2 week period. The internal thought process of driving was a new thing to me and got me locked in. I haven't got a chance to watch Stage Four.

Guts is crazy. A mad man. So absurb but so good. Unfortunately, there are some plot points that are disturbing and senseless.

The Vision of Escaflowne
Fantasy and sci-fi combined. I think I was able to overlook that the main characters were high schoolers because the story and setting were unique.

There are many more, but these come to mind because I watched these series within a 6 month time frame and made me believe in the anime that was getting subtitled and brought to the US. There was a long period that I was watching a lot of crappy anime. Mainly because the subject and characters were aimmed at teenagers and not adults. Whereas in Japan, there's Anime for all age groups (at least that's what I remember reading).

Some anime I would like to watch in the future are: finish the last 6 episodes of Witch Hunter Robin, finish Samirai Camploo, Wolf's Rain and Fullmetal Alchemist.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Originally posted on xanga.

I just watched the movie Serenity. It was a great movie. I love sci-fi films that entertain and have a message. I have to watch the cancelled TV show Firefly now. Sometime in the future. One of the things that kept popping up as I was watching is that it reminded me of how much I like the anime Cowboy Beebop.

Props to Joss and crew for getting this made. Too bad they couldn't have made this into a franchise.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Trance Songs

Originally posted on xanga.

Way Out West - The Gift
Having been a newbie to trance than, this song lead me through many hours of study time. Whenever I hear the voice, it takes me back to those college days.

Lost Tribe - Gamemaster
This is one of 2 songs that made "Tranceport" so good for me over the years. Being an avid pc gamer, this is a theme song of sorts.

System f - out of the blue
I haven't heard a mix I didn't like of this song yet, but the original stands as the best version. When Ferry played this at the Mayan a few years back, I went ballistic.

Sasha - Xpander
I heard this song while paying a video game (don't remember which one anymore). Upon finding out that it was a CD single, I promptly bought it and its been a regular in my Cd player ever since. I didn't even know who Sasha was back than.

Gus Gus - Purple (Sasha v. The Light)
Polydistortion was already a steady listen of mine, but when I heard this version on Tranceport, it set my mind ablaze.

Plant Phunk - Chase the Sun
I don't know what mix Dave Seamen dropped a few years back at Spundae, but that night, this was the song that made him one of my favorits DJs.

Olive - You're Not alone
I can't recall which mix it was, but it was on the CD single. Back when Egil was running GrooveRadio on the actual radio, this song was a staple. Although I've never heard the version that I love so much, I was always happy to hear the song.

Harmonix - Landslide
That U2 guitar link in the background always made me move. I always put this one on to remind of those early days of surfing the internet. I'd have this song on repeat as I built my first geocities web pages.

Binary Finary - 1998
Having heard it for the first time off Tranceport, I've enjoyed the other million mixes of this song just as much.

Depeche Mode - Free Love (Version Sasha plays)
I heard this on some of his mixes around the October 2001 time frame. Looks like it'd been moved off his rotation by November 2001 at the Mayan.

Opus III - It's A Fine Day
KROQ use to play this song on and off before it became the modern day version of KNAC. That voice rang in my head and I went out and bought the CD. Although its come back as a Miss Jane version. I still enjoy the Opus III version the best.

Libra present Taylor - Calling Your Name
This may be one of my all time favorite songs, not just trance. The haunting voice of Jan Johnston has made me go back repeatedly to her new songs. But this stands the test of time. Been featured on a GU009 and American Pie. When I hear one of the better mixes, it still makes my shiver.